Monday, November 30, 2015

Letter from a Therapist: "I'm Successful but Not Effective"

In each installment of this daily series, I respond to a composite letter asking for my career advice. 

Today's offering is my response to a letter from a psychologist who feels he's an imposter.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Letter from a Man Who Talks Big, Does Little, and Hates Himself

In each installment of this daily series, I respond to a composite letter that asks for my career advice. Here is today's offering.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Letter from a Nurse Who Accidentally Killed A Patient

In each installment of a daily series in PsychologyToday, I respond to a composite letter that asks for my advice.  

Today's is how a nurse might deal with having accidentally killed a patient.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Career Advice to a Dejected Liberal Arts Graduate

A college graduate did everything she could to land a good job after college graduation but the best she could get was to be a clerk at a car rental agency. 

In my article today, I offer some advice. 

My Career Advice to a Struggling Actor, Now 28

My career advice to a struggling actor, now 28. That's today's installment in my series in which I respond to composite letters complaining about worklife.

Escaping from Golden Handcuffs: Letter from a "Trapped" Government Employee

This is today's installment in my series of composite letters of complaint about one's worklife and my responses.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Letter from a High School Student Who's Scared About College

Today, I start a series of articles that present a letter that's a composite of complaints I've heard. After each, I offer my response.  

Today's letter comes from a high school senior who's scared about the cost of college and what to major in. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

In Praise of Seriousness

America is the land of upbeatness: Whether political candidates, workplace norms, or in social gatherings, upbeat and chipper are rewarded, seriousness and soberness denigrated--"Debbie Downer."

Much can be said in favor of being upbeat: Especially in challenging times, an optimistic view is usually welcome. And upbeat people make others and themselves feel good.

Who could argue against all that? I could, and do so in my article today.

Could the Reduction in Good Jobs Actually Be Good for America?

Automation, dysgenic birth rates, high immigration rates of unskilled people,  the ballooning cost of hiring an American, and globalization will dramatically cut the number of good jobs in the U.S. 
As a result, most Americans will have to live much simpler, less materialistic lives. Some will rebel--e.g., violent revolution may be possible. Less aggressive people will replace the time they would have spent in paid work in volunteerism, relationships, and in creative output, e.g., writing, painting, singing, community theatre. 
Is it thus possible that quality of life, net, in the U.S. will be better as a result?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Negotiate with ISIS?

There's consensus that the only way to deal with ISIS is to bomb the hell out of them. 

In my article today, I propose adding another approach. 

Addressing Information Overload

So much information is available, curated, with just a one-second Google search.

You'd think having all that knowledge at our fingertips would make us feel more secure.

Yet it makes many people feel less secure and more overwhelmed. They suffer from data overload.

How might we be informed without feeling overwhelmed? In my article today, I offer two options plus a way to make peace with our inevitably incomplete knowledge.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Finding a Career

My article today offers an excerpt from a first career counseling session with a newly retired 50-year-old firefighter. (I've changed irrelevant details to protect his anonymity.)

Perhaps you might find the techniques I used with him to be useful to you or to someone you care about who's trying to choose a new career.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Is There Pure Good?

Even ISIS's horrific acts have a silver lining. They remind idealistic policymakers that one of their foundational assumptions is wrong: that everyone is well intentioned.

That dose of realism may ultimately improve policies so they better incorporate the full range of humankind's behavior.

So if even such base evil as ISIS has an upside, can there be pure good?

As a thought experiment I listed 10 things that, at first blush, strike me as a pure good. For each, I've tried to think of how even they aren't a pure good. To the extent I was able to do that, I strike a blow for relativism, for embracing the gray-areaness of most things and a blow against absolutist black-white thinking.

I've ended up concluding that six of the ten aren't pure goods. I describe my thinking about all of them in my article today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My New Book is Out: "The Best of Marty Nemko"

My new book, The Best of Marty Nemko: The best of his 3,000 articles on career, living, and making a difference is now available both in e-book and printed book.  If you click on this picture of the cover, you can read the small print.

And HERE is the link to it on  

A Workover: She Has Lost Her Motivation to Look for a Job

On my NPR-San Francisco radio program,  I do Workovers: Callers call in with a career problem.

I've been posting edited transcripts of Workovers that might interest Psychology Today readers. 

Today's is my exchange with a woman who has lost her motivation to look for a job.

Why Men Don't Listen to Women

Many women complain that men listen poorly to them, especially when they want to "process" something. Such women often claim that men are not in touch with their feelings. 

In my article today, I offer other explanations. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Case for Staycations

Sure, if you're dating, a staycation can't compete with 7 days, 6 nights in Hawaii. But otherwise, I wonder if people who tout vacations suffer from selective memory. I attempt to remedy that in my article today. .

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Do You Feel Misunderstood?

Many people feel misunderstood. My article today offers ways to address that.

The Psychology of Food

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with food. The hate usually relates to its calories: "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."

My article today focuses on the love. Indeed, as George Bernard Shaw wrote, "There is no sincerer love than the love of food."

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Workover: He Wants to Make a Living Doing Workshops

On my NPR-San Francisco radio program, I do Workovers: Callers call in with a career problem.

On, I've been posting edited transcripts of Workovers. In today's offering, a caller asked what I think of his idea of doing workshops for immigrants in colleges' career centers.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Six Thanksgiving Traps and How to Avoid Them

Media portrayals of halcyon Thanksgivings belie the frequent reality. Turkey Day has more traps that a Cambodian mine field. 

My article today helps you avoid stepping on one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Workover: She Has a Master's from Berkeley Yet Makes $11 an Hour

On my NPR-San Francisco radio program, I do Workovers: Callers call in with a career problem.

I've been posting edited transcripts of Workovers that might interest PsychologyToday readers. Here's today's offering.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The X-Prize Founder's Rules for Success...Compared with My Own

Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Diamandis is famous for having established the X Prize, It offers millions of dollars for the first team to meet various major challenges, for example, the self-teaching software that, within 18 months, yields the biggest improvement in standardized achievement tests among students in developing nations.

So I was intrigued when I saw Peter's Laws. Alas, the intrigue quickly turned to derision.

I disagree with at least half of them but space precludes my critiquing that many, In my article today, I cite seven I particularly think are wrong and why. And because I prefer to criticize only when I can propose an alternative, I offer a few Marty's Not-Quite Laws and welcome your critique of them

Monday, November 9, 2015

Workover: Should I Open a Restaurant?

I was taking my daily hike when my nine-year-old doggie chased after another dog and they played like young pups. I said to the owner, "It's so fun to see my dog act like a puppy."

His response was the last thing I expected: "You're Marty Nemko." He had recognized my voice from my radio show.

He said, "Would you mind doing one of your Workovers on me? I'm very close to quitting my HR biotech job to start a restaurant but I haven't quite pulled the trigger."  I said, "Sure but I'll be asking you a bunch of hard questions--like Shark Tank." He said, "Great."

My article today consists of a paraphrase of the dialogue that ensued. It raises issues that every would-be business owner must consider:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Workover: What to Do if You Have a Zig-Zag Work History?

Aqaba, CC 2.0
On my NPR-San Francisco radio program, I do Workovers: Callers call in with a career  problem. On, I've been posting edited transcripts of Workovers. Here's today's offering:

"U.S. on Road to Third World:" An Essay by Paul Roberts

On my NPR-San Francisco radio program today, I read an essay by economist Paul Roberts that attempts to describe the true employment situation in the U.S. rather than merely report the soundbite, "Unemployment down to 5%."  

A caller asked me to post it on my blog. So HERE is the link.

"Should I Be a Housewife?"

A client yesterday said she was afraid she was romanticizing what it would be like to be a housewife. So she asked me to outline the dark side of that. 

I posted the transcript of our exchange about that as my article today.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Adult Lessons from The Peanuts Movie

The Peanuts movie is well done, even touching, certainly a fine movie to bring a kid to. 

I had two reactions to it, one positive, one negative:

1. That it is a more potent character builder than all the parental and school lectures on ethics.

2. It reinforced a serious anti-male double-standard: that a guy must move heaven and earth to attract a gal's interest while a gal only need look pretty. 

I lay out the arguments in my article today.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Life Lessons from Jerry Twomey and His Old Rose

I like to tell the story of Jerry Twomey and his old rose. It offers lessons for all of us. I tell it in my article today.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gift Ideas for the Psychologically Minded

Last year, I offered 14 gift ideas for the psychologically minded. They’re still worthy but in my article today, I offer a new crop.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What Neuroscientists Now Know About Your Intelligence

Today, I interviewed Richard Haier, among the world's leading experts on intelligence. He talked about some remarkable recent discoveries made by neuroscientists. 

My article today is an edited transcript of the interview.

Monday, November 2, 2015

In Praise of Those Who Put in an Honest Day's Work

I wrote a thank-you note to Ryan Kane, a magician. I thought I'd share its essence with you. It offers a tip of the cap, not just to magicians, but to anyone who works with integrity. I decided to post it as my article today.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Workover: "Should I Negotiate and How?"

On my NPR-San Francisco radio program, I do Workovers. Callers call in with a career-elated problem.

I've been posting edited transcripts of Workovers that might interest PsychologyToday readers. Today's offering is on negotiation.