Book Review: Strengths Finder 2.0

Strengths Finder 2.0Do you know your strengths? It’s likely you’re not able to use them every day while at the office or home. So many of us move through life without truly tapping into our talents and strengths.

Strengths Finder has been around for many years. The first version came out in 2001 and my husband introduced it to me several years ago when he was at a large Silicon Valley corporation that used it.

Strengths Finder 2.0 is a reference guide by Tom Rath that is based on research from Gallup and Dr. Don Clifton, Father of Strengths Psychology. I call it a reference guide because you can use for years after you complete the assessment tool that comes with the book. You’ll begin with the first chapter that sets up the importance of understanding our own unique strengths and how they impact all aspects of your life. Continue reading

5 Tips for Career Success

Five Career LessonsWhen I think about my career, five moments stand out as game changers. I never forgot the valuable lessons I learned and how each one taught me a way to manage to stay away from a career meltdown.

1) Avoid cardiac arrest with a side order of divorce
One of my first corporate jobs was at a start-up. It just went IPO, but still operated in start-up mode. People worked 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends. The perks of Silicon Valley companies come with strings attached. Don’t let the free food and dry cleaning fool you.  Continue reading

Book Review: Escape From Cubicle Nation

Escape From Cubicle NationAre you in the land of cubes and ready to escape? 

Pamela Slim sure was. I read her 2010 book Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur a couple times.

The cover with the people looking over the cube walls is pretty funny and so are her references to the corporate satire Office Space, a great movie to see if you are a cube dweller.

Pamela’s book provides the aspiring entrepreneur with a healthy dose of reality as he or she dreams about taking that leap from the corporate to entrepreneurship. Continue reading

Would you give your Facebook password to your employer?

I remember in the late 90s employees had it really good. It was at the height of the dot.com era and employees enjoyed extravagant perks, large salaries and more. It was an employees’ market.

Times have changed and the tables have significantly over the last few years. We’ve experienced recessions before except this one has become so severe people are desperate to find employment. It’s has been an employers’ market for a couple of years or more now. Continue reading

What’s Your Value In The Workplace?

With unemployment remaining at a sustained high and the state of the economy,  how is  an employee’s sense of value in the workplace? Research has shown the less value an employee feels  may  result in  reduced engagement at work  and lack of motivation.

When you look around your office, does anyone stand out? Could it be you?

Gauging an employee’s sense of value can be tricky because we all place value on different things, especially when we are employees. Some companies go to great lengths, even in this economy, to show employees they are valued as people, not just company assets. Continue reading

Problem Solving Skills That Will Save Your Sanity

Are your problem solving skills used at work also helpful at home? I think we all use problem solving skills between work and home without even realizing it. We just take a different approach depending on the audience.

I wrote about dealing with a difficult manager a few weeks ago, which was really a problem solving post. I added a bit of kid flare to it for this week’s post. Really, much of the problem solving we practice at work can be applied at home. While every situation is different, these tips include ways to maneuver the difficult personalities at work and possibly at home. Continue reading

The Dress Code Police

What is the dress code like at work? Casual for me. I’m so thankful for that, too.

I worked at a company right after the dot.com bust that had a very strict dress code policy. I’m still grateful nylons were not part of the requirements, very grateful!

We did have a no denim policy though. I don’t think they even wanted a denim handbag to enter the building. It was a career services firm so we had to set the example for our clients who were looking for a job. Continue reading

New Moms Heading Back To Work

10 Ways to Plan Your Return to Work and Reduce the Stress

You’ve been on maternity for three months and the dreaded return date is near. How you transition back into work can have so many variables and a huge impact on your outlook as a working mom. Sometimes the anticipation of the return can be much worse than the act of actually going back to work. Of course everyone is different.

A planned transition will lessen your stress and help ease you back into work more smoothly. Consider the suggestions below and practice the steps that will work for you and your family as you begin to plan your return. You will be glad you did it in the end. Continue reading

The Good Contagious

Summer is just about ending, but it wasn’t without a few colds that went around our house. My little guy caught a  bug and within a few days, little boo caught it, too. The bad contagious. The kind we want to avoid.

I was heading home after a long day at work. The days have felt very busy lately and unwinding has been taking a bit longer than  usual. Yesterday was different though.

I’ve been adjusting to a new work atmosphere after a few people left my department. Change can be uneasy and it was when it happened. Time has passed since the upheaval and I have the opportunity to work with new people now. What I found was that change is good, especially when it opens new doors to fresh ideas.

So, here’s why yesterday was different…

I experienced the good kind of contagious for the first time in a long time. When you are in the corporate world or any work world for that matter, the attitude that the people around you have will impact your own attitude.  Have you ever noticed that at the office or among friends?

I talked with someone who is new to a project for a while yesterday. That’s it and that’s all. The difference was the excitement, the ideas and… the attitude. A positive one.

Before I knew it, my ideas were flowing and so was the excitement over, of all things… work. Plus, the joking and laughing helped, too.

While I don’t love the colds that travel around our house every so often, I am always open to the good contagious, especially when it comes to the work environment. It make a difference for everyone.

Have you ever experienced the good contagious at work?