At Work

Career Overload: Making Time for Your Life

Do you have dinner with your family every night? It seems like family dinners, time with friends and actually balancing work and life have gone the way of the Beaver Cleaver. It’s so rare, in fact, that when someone actually makes family a priority, it makes national news headlines.

That’s right – a man named Cameron Stracher decided that for one year he would be at home every night for dinner with his family. He wrote a blog – dinnerwithdad.com – and a book, Dinner with Dad, all about the experience. His story has been featured in USA Today and other major papers. All because he chose to make time for his family – and share about it.

Do you ever feel like making time for your friends and family is so much effort, it might be a newsworthy event if it actually happened?

Top Ten Summer Fashion Faux Pas in the Workplace

1. Flip flops, especially when worn with hairy toes, chipped polish or calluses
2. Bathing suits as undergarments
3. Farmers’ tans combined with sleeveless tops
4. Swim-shorts or sarongs as office wear
5. Reflective sunglasses
6. T-shirts with sexual innuendos (Official Bikini Inspector, Big Johnson, etc.)
7. Shorts above the knee
8. Peak-a-boo bra straps under itsy-bitsy tank tops
9. Halter tops
10. Visible peeling after a sunburn

Best and Worst Business Jargon

In every workplace there are buzz words and lingo that identify employees as insiders. There’s also a lot of business jargon that adds nothing but confusion to a conversation. Usually, if you squeeze more than a couple buzz words into one sentence, the meaning will be lost to all but the most fluent business-ese speakers. Not all jargon is bad though. It can serve as shorthand for complicated ideas or unite a group through a common language.

Some of my favorites business speak is:
Bottom line – This one’s been around so long that it doesn’t feel like jargon anymore.
Brainstorm – Again, it works because most everyone knows what this means. Also, I like the mental picture of little clouds and lightening bolts coming from my co-workers’ heads.

But, I’d be happy to never hear these again:
Synergize – This just seems like something you should do to batteries not people.
Strategic planning – Shouldn’t all planning be strategic?
Mindshare – This euphemism for generating ideas in a group reminds me of the scene in the movie The Matrix where you see all the people lying in chambers connected to the Matrix by a bunch of wires.

What business lingo do people use at your work? Does it drive you crazy, or do you think it improves communication?

Money and Happiness

In his book, Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert argues that having money (beyond about $40,000 a year) doesn’t increase our happiness. But, most people strive for raises, promotions, bonuses and all that goes with financial success. If his research is correct and more money won’t increase happiness, then why is money so important to most people?

In your job, how much money do you think it would take for you to feel satisfied? Or if it’s not money, what do you think would bring you the most contentment at work? How does your job tie in with achieving happiness in your life?

Oops – I Accidentally Forwarded an Insulting E-mail to My Boss!

What do you do when you blow it big time at work? E-mail’s the easiest way to inadvertently offend dozens with the click of your mouse. Usually damage control from workplace gaffes involves apologizing and then lying low for a few days. Other times, you have to pay for the mistake in a more substantial way (forking out some money, getting a write-up, etc.)

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you at work, and how did you deal with it?