Tag Archives: office

Get Back to Work! (But for now enjoy these links)

18 Jun

It’s Friday, and everyone knows Friday is not the best day  for people with ADD or a love of life outside the cubical. So why not pass the time with some cool links?

I have no words. This is simply that amazing. (Doghouse Cartoon)

Lens Crafters should really swoop this up for their next ad campaign.

It ain’t easy growing green at work. But these low- light plants are up for the challenge.

They’re lurking in offices everywhere, waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack your inbox. No, not email viruses.. REPLY-ALL’ers. Here’s a great article on Gawker on when to hit the reply all button. (Hint- never).

reason number 5 million I wish I was italian.

And now for links that keep popping in my Google Reader and around the internet that I never want to see again: Justin Beiber, Keanu Reeves looking sad, and anything about the iphone4.

Happy almost-to- happy hour- Friday!

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Just Say No

1 Apr

Image Credit: Cornell University news: www.cornell.edu/news

I always hated the word no. Maybe because I’m an only child, or maybe because it immediately takes me back to the checkout line when I was 6 and asked for 5 packs of zebra-striped gum (you can guess the answer), but the word itself still makes me cringe.

It’s no surprise then, that when I first graduated and entered the working world, I said yes to just about everything. Need extra copies? Sure I’ll help! Need someone to cover the front desk for you while you go on a cigarette break for an hour? Sure, why not! But it wasn’t until my last job that I realized saying yes all the time was only hurting my career. Spending so much time helping others out, (even though I was busy) was forcing me to have to work longer hours and make mistakes.  Sure, it’s very important to be a good coworker and help others out in a bind, but only if you are available.

When you first start a job, (especially right after college) and are in the honeymoon stage, it’s hard to realize when people are taking advantage of you. It’s like being in college all over again- you are the “fresh meat,” the newbie, the person dressed head to toe in your school colors standing in line for a keg cup. If you are firm and comfortable saying no from the beginning though, people will quickly move on to the next target. If you are tempted to give in,  imagine being in a meeting with your boss and confessing you didn’t finish the project, because Sarah needed help on hers. Sure, your boss will think you are a nice person, but they probably won’t be too happy with you for failing to meet the deadline.

I’ve found the easiest way to approach a situation where you are asked to help, (is it just me, or always the same people?), but swamped is this:

1. Say you are busy right now, but give your next time of availability. For example,  “Sorry Joe, I’m in the middle of several projects right now. I’ll be available to help at 4pm though when I am finished.”

2. Reach out to them first to offer help, when you have some down time.  If you have some extra time on your hands (hey every moment counts), instead of going on PerezHilton, let your coworkers know you have some time if they need help with anything.

Most importantly, stay strong my fellow people pleasers. As much as you think it is helping you, taking on more work than you can handle (especially if it is not yours) will only hurt you down the line. The good “users” will sense your weakness and beg you until you burst, but hold your ground and give them a firm answer. BUT, while you don’t want to be the Yes-man, you also don’t want to be the excuse maker. If assisting is part of your job description,  your hardworking coworkers are sick, overwhelmed or in a pinch, give them the help they deserve. Chances are, you will need their help one day as well.

Guest Post: Taking the First Steps in Your Adult Shoes

27 May

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Graduating from college is a huge step in life. The question changes from what do you want to be when you grow up to  a more realistic one- now what? The first steps you take after college are the start to your adult life. I started thinking about this in light of a friend deciding to move back home.
My friend Matt went to college in Oregon and moved to San Diego upon graduating last summer- to live with his best friend and start a new life. He got a job as a waiter to pay the bills while he looked for a job. He felt like he didn’t fit in here and talked about it often. He was constantly reminiscing about the college days and how he was the “big man on campus.” After less than a year, Matt has decided to move back home. I have mixed feelings about his move, because he did give it a shot, but I don’t think he was open minded enough.

Here’s a few pearls of wisdom for the new grad out there:

1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND: Be ready for new experiences and new challenges. Be ready to LEARN. Managing my own money and supporting myself financially was something I had to adjust to.

2. EXPECT TO BE DISAPPOINTED: You will be let down at some point, that’s life so just be ready. You might not get the first job you interview for. You may not get the salary you expected. All I’m saying is be realistic. Especially in this economy the game is totally different.

3. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE: Even if you stay in the same city you attended college, your life will not be the same. Friends will leave and life will be different. There are no “mental health days” allowed at work like in college. You need to change your method of thinking and remember that you are being paid to be there and your company values your time so you should too.

4. TAKE RISKS: If not now, then when? Move somewhere new. Apply for a job you might be under qualified for. Travel and work somewhere exotic for a while. Go out and meet new people- NETWORK! This is probably the most valuable take away networking will do wonders for your career in the present and in the future.

5. TAKE YOUR OWN PATH: This is your time to be selfish. By that I mean, you need to make decisions for yourself  about where you will live, work and play. Don’t make your plans according to what your best friend or boyfriend/girlfriend is doing- you will be left thinking what if. Go with your gut and make sure that you are doing something that you are proud of and are in a place that you feel excited about going to work and being part of the company.

Starting off is both frightening and exciting and you will never get another first chance to decide what the first thing you will do after college is going to be so make it something great and do not be afraid of listening to your heart!

-Nicole LaVelle

Nicole LaVelle is a recent graduate from San Diego where she studied graphic design she has also studied in Florence Italy and she is now working as a Designer at a marketing company. You can see her work here http://www.nicolelavelle.com

Maintaining a Healthy Level of Insanity in the Workplace

19 Feb

A friend sent this to me today from here I thought it was pretty ridiculous and funny and wanted to pass it along. Enjoy.

  1. Page yourself over the intercom. Don’t disguise your voice.
  2. Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Wear them one day after your boss does. This is especially effective if your boss is of a different gender than you.
  3. Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. “That’s a good point, Sparky.” “No, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with you there, Cha-cha.”
  4. Send e-mail to the rest of the company telling them exactly what you’re doing. For example: “If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the bathroom.”
  5. Hi-Lite your shoes. Tell people you haven’t lost them as much since you did this.
  6. While sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in Palmolive liquid. Call everyone Madge.
  7. Hang mosquito netting around your cubicle. When you emerge to get coffee or a printout or whatever, slap yourself randomly the whole way.
  8. Put a chair facing a printer. Sit there all day and tell people you’re waiting for your document.
  9. Every time someone asks you to do something, anything, ask him or her if they want fries with that.
  10. Send e-mail back and forth to yourself engaging yourself in an intellectual debate. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask her to settle the disagreement.
  11. Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair-dancing.
  12. Put your trash can on your desk. Label it “IN.”
  13. Feign an unnatural and hysterical fear of staplers.
  14. Send e-mail messages saying there’s free pizza or donuts or cake in the lunchroom. When people drift back to work complaining that they found none, lean back, pat your stomach and say, “Oh you’ve got to be faster than that.”
  15. Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks. Once everyone has withdrawn from caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.

Starting off on the right foot

5 Feb

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As you may have noticed I have been slacking with my posts recently.

The reason for this is that I recently started a new job. As this is always an intimidating experience there are some important things to remember so that you aren’t in over you head on the first day.

1. Show up early. Probably the most important thing is showing up on time, my roommate Jon reminded me of the saying “If you are ten minutes early you are on time, if you are on time you are late, and if you are late you are dead!” Yes, a bit exteme but nothing shows like you are not serious about a job like showing up late, so be early and ready to work!

2. Do your homework. Yes you know you already got the job but when you go in on your first day and have a one on one with the CEO you will probably want to know a little history about the origin of the company and come with questions so you can get any immediate questions you may have answered and out of the way.

3. Come over dressed. At the job I just started they told me jeans are not an uncommon site, nevertheless I plan on being dressed up for a while. It never hurts to step up your professionalism and let your co-workers know that you take the job seriously.

4. Take initiative. The first few days of a new job are very much a transition time and your boss needs to continue their job while figuring out how to train you and make you become self -efficient. If you find yourself with some empty time it never hurts to shoot an email to you boss asking how you can help them, or begin working on a project you know needs to get done eventually. They will appreciate and recognize this initiative.

5. Don’t be shy. You are going to meet everyone at some point whether your boss introduces you to someone or not. While making your way through your new office your first day remember to say hi to everyone you encounter and make an effort of understanding their role in the company, for all you know you could be working with them on a daily basis.

6. Be Inquisitive. Do not be afraid of asking questions about anything and everything. Not only will this benefit you but it will also reiterate the fact that you are very interested in getting to know the company inside out.

Remember transitioning into a new job and role takes time. By using these tips and demonstrating a strong work ethic you will be on the right path to a prosperous new career!

Tis the Season for Giving

10 Dec

volunteer1

It is officially the holiday season, the trees are decorated and the streets are lined with twinkly lights. No matter what tradition you celebrate it is a wonderful time that brings friends and family from all over the world together. It is easy so get caught up in making cookies and buying presents and to forget about the true spirit for the holidays.

Now more than ever people need each other more than anything else. For many this holiday season will be a difficult one, many have lost their homes, their jobs and are running only on faith and support from others. There are many things we can do this year to keep the holiday spirit alive and remind people that we are in this together and they are not forgotten.

Adopt A Family– There are many different chapters and organizations that are involved in this program. You adopt a family that doesn’t have any resources to create a Christmas for their family. You find out their sizes and wish list and send them presents and cards.

Volunteer Your Time– Hands on Bay Area is an example of a wonderful organization that offers many different types of volunteer activities and times so that is is convenient for your life. They offer everything from reading books to little kids, to wrapping donated presents for those less fortunate.

Providing Food– Project Open Hand is a joint volunteer effort that provides food to seniors that need it people suffering from HIV and AIDS and critically ill people that are bound to their bed. The program also helps educate them about important nutrition that help will lengthen their life.

Getting your office involved– There are numerous places and organizations that you can get involved with over the holidays. There are also lots of resources like Volunteer Match where you can find the right project and location. Strength and success always come in numbers so why not get your office involved. Send out a friendly email or post a note in a common area and ask people to ban with you to volunteer.

Most importantly don’t forget how lucky you are and all that you have to be thankful for. “Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.” Albert Einstein

What is the Deal with Informational Interviews?

20 Nov

job

So if you are like me, and knew in the past certain companies you wanted to target to work but knew that you were not yet at a point where you have enough experience to work or they are not hiring. The best thing to do in this situation is to ask for an informational interview with someone from the company in the department you would like to work in.

Information interviews are beneficial for many reasons, here are some tips and advantages:

  • They are a great networking tool, the best thing you can do is when looking for a job is meet as many people as possible! You never know who knows someone who knows someone who has the job you want! Even if the position is unavailable after meeting with someone at the company they could recommend you to their friends, co-workers and any other company they may see as a good fit for you.
  • Do your homework. Treat the informational interview as if it were a real interview for the actual position because you never know what will develop from the meeting.
  • Dress appropriately as you would going to an actual interview, make sure you apparel is in accordance with the company.
  • Take notes, since it is informational soak in everything you can and be sure to bring a pen and jot a few things down to reference in the future.
  • Come prepared with a plethora of questions. Since you already know the purpose of the interview is to find out more about the specific profession make sure you come prepared with lots of questions to make the most of the meeting.

Here are some good example questions to think about or ask from ww.iseek.org

  • What is a day on this job really like?
  • What do you like about your job? Dislike?
  • Is your job typical of others in this field?
  • What’s the corporate culture like here? (Hours, salary, titles)
  • Which firms do you think are your toughest competitors, and how do they differ from your company?
  • How did you get into this field?
  • How do you stay current in your knowledge?
  • What kind of experience or training is required?
  • What are employers looking for? (Skills, education, experience)
  • May I have a copy of a job description?
  • What is the potential for advancement?
  • What are current job prospects like?
  • Are there related fields I might want to look into if few jobs are available in my primary career goal?
  • What’s the best way to find out about jobs in this field?
  • Can you refer me to someone else in this field?

For some extra advice check out these Pet Peeves About the Informational Interview from the NYT Business Section.