Saturday, June 24, 2017

Good Grandparent Moments

Many people love grandparenting. Others don't. Of course, some of that is that they're hardwired to be nurturing or otherwise are good at at.

But an under-considered factor is that happy grandparents stay conscious of grandparenthood's many rewarding moments. As my article today, I offer some examples in hopes they'll increase your enjoyment of grandparenthood.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Relaxed Job Interview

My clients have found these tips helpful in staying calm, well, calm enough in a job interview. I post all 12 tips as my article today.

Modern Fables: 60 Short-Short Stories Offering Life Lessons

In an attempt to avoid how-to articles' pontification and aridity, I've written over 100 short-short stories that offer life lessons. I've collected my 60 favorites in a book, which has just been published. It's called Modern Fables. HERE is its Amazon link.

One-Hit Wonder: A short-short story about a has-been

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story about a has-been. At the end, I ask some questions that may be helpful to anyone who feels their best days are behind them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


One of life’s bigger decisions is whether to retire. Of course, many factors should be considered. 

As my article today, I offer an an internal dialogue that may help you clarify

The Extra-Mile Inventory

Some people’s priority is balance: work moderately, play moderately. Other people, whether by choice or need, want to go the extra mile. But many of the latter don’t do so. They might not even know what that would entail.

For such people, as my article today, I offer a self-assessment questions may help.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Converting an Internship or Volunteer "Opportunity" into Paid Work

To avoid having to pay, give benefits and legal rights, many employers use interns and volunteers.

Equally sad for job seekers, too few of those no-pay "opportunities" get converted into paid work. Often, it's use up the free labor until they quit, whereupon the employer finds a new freebie. That’s particularly likely in sexy fields, for example, fashion, sports, entertainment, and the environment.

My article today offers ways to boost the chances of converting an internship or volunteer gig into paid work.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Enhance? A short-short story about genetically enhancing intelligence.

A May 22, 2017 New York Times headline reads: “In ‘Enormous Success,’ Scientists Tie 52 Genes to Human Intelligence."
A week later, the Journal of Cellullar Bioechemistry chronicled the enormous progress and potential in gene editing.

Such research suggests that in a decade or two, parents may have the option of having their sperm and eggs genome-edited to ensure their child has high or at least normal intelligence.

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story that explores one possible implication.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Doggie Tips: How to Ensure Yours is a Joy

My wife and I have had a wonderful experience with my previous doggies Gherkin, Cookie and an even better one with my current doggie, Einstein.  

As my article today, I share tips on choosing, training, and living with doggie.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How a Career Counselor Would Look for a Job

Sometimes the advice we give isn't what we ourselves would do. For example, we might ask a client to do more than we ourselves would be willing to do.

So, for my article today, as a long-time career counselor,  I thought it might be helpful if I described what I'd actually do if I had to look for a job

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Future of the World: A Debate Between an Optimist and a Pessimist

Many of my clients, colleagues, friends, and I wonder about the future of the world. We do it just for the fun of conjecture or for a serious reason. For example, some people wonder if they want to bring a child into the world s/he’ll spend the next 100 years in.
So it might be instructive or at least interesting to explore possible futures. To that end, my article today offers  a debate between the optimist and pessimist within me.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

41 Useful Words and a Fun Way to Learn Them

In the 5th and final installment of a five-part series aimed at helping professionals improve their vocabulary, I offer 41 words that are more precise in their meaning than their more common synonym. And to encourage the reader to learn them, I offer one of the few tasks I remember doing in school that I liked: writing a story that used all the words. And lest I be guilty of asking my readers to do that which I wouldn't, I wrote such a story. That's my article today.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Questions and Answers for Older Employees

As my article today, I offer self-assessment questions for older workers to help them decide how ambitious they should be on the continuum from aiming higher to retiring. I then offer specifics for what one might do.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Unsung: A short-short story about our heroes

We idolize the wrong people. I explore that in a short-short story on

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The New Widow: A short-short story

When a couple of the same age marries, there often are problems because men age faster and die earlier than women. I explore that in my contribution today. It's a short-short story.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Five-Minute Career Advising

Of course, even a professional career counselor usually takes multiple sessions to provide adequate guidance. 

But counselors, social workers, teachers, parents and relatives often have the opportunity to provide a bit of career help.  My article today offers sample dialogues and a career-finding chart that can be used to provide a  first-step to people who don't know what career to pursue or how to land a job.

Should You Consider a Career in Sales?

As my article today, I ask six questions of people considering a sales career. The profession is underrated when done right but it's appropriate only for a special kind of person.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

An Ordinary Life: A short-short story

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story called An Ordinary Life.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Come See My One-Man (plus my wife's scolding and firing me) Show TOMORROW- and it's Free!

Want to come see my one-man show Odd Man Out tomorrow (Saturday June 3)  at 10:30 AM at the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library?  It's free.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Saying What You Intend: 17 distinctions you should make.

This is the final installment in a four-part series designed to help professionals take their vocabulary to the highest level likely needed.
In it, I describe 17 examples of pairs or trios of words that are often thought to be interchangeable but aren't.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Beyond-the-GRE Word Quiz, plus the 327 words on my to-learn list.

My article today is the third in a four-part series aimed at helping professionals take their vocabulary to the highest level you’ll need in the real world.
I present 21 words in a sentence.  Your job is to decide whether it’s being used correctly. Simply decide; true or false.

After I provide the answers, I've appended the definitions of the 327 words I identified in doing the research for this series. They are the words I had heard of or read but didn’t know their meaning. There are worse uses of your time than to learn ten a night, perhaps just an activity to do during the commercials on TV.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Meaning Behind the Meaning: A short-short story about lexical love

This is the second in a three-part series. It's for professionals who'd like to improve their vocabulary. The words are particularly helpful to people in the helping professions. This installment uses the short-short story format to avoid the how-to article’s aridity.

This installment uses the short-short story format to avoid the how-to article’s aridity.

Will Humans Be Necessary: Abridged and updated version

A while back, I wrote a long article, Will Humans Be Necessary?

As my article today, I offer a column-length and updated version.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Should You Change Careers or Merely Pivot?

As my article today, I've posted an edited transcript of my exchange with a caller to my radio program today. It offers thoughts for anyone thinking they want to dramatically change their life.

Inducing the Swoon: How an average person can land an above-average job.

In a rational world, the average person wouldn’t get hired for an above-average job. After all, the internet enables the employer to expose an opening to millions of job seekers, get dozens if not hundreds of applicants, and applicant tracking software and job-simulation testing enable employers to select the best candidate. That’s rarely an average person.

Yet average people get hired every day. How? Because the employer doesn’t care enough to do a thorough search or has irrationally become fond enough of a person to forgo a more rational hiring process.

My article today shares tips for how to induce the swoon.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Making of a Mass School Shooter: A short-short story

Why do most of the mass school shooters seem cut from a similar mold? In my article today, I forward one hypothesis.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Answering Job Ads: An underrated tool if done right.

Job seekers are told to emphasize networking over answering ads. But done right, answering ads can often pay off. My article today explains why and how.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

46 Uncommon But Useful Words

As my contribution today, I define 46 uncommon but useful words.

Monday, May 22, 2017

About to Get Fired

As my contribution today, I offer an edited transcript of the exchange between me and a caller to my radio program who is about to get fired.

The Retirement Party: A short short story

My contribution today is a short-short story that explores what goes through Charlie's mind at his retirement party. It addresses the tension between authenticity and being socially correct.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Bar-Mitzvah: A short-short story about being judgmental.

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story that tells the thoughts of a person attending a bar-mitzvah. Does he deserve opprobrium as "judgmental" or praise for his discernment?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"Do You Take This..." A short-short story about the decision to marry

Here's a short-short story that tells what's going through a couple's mind as the officiant asks them to take the marriage vows.  That's my contribution today.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Are You Going Crazy?" A short-short story about middle-class stress

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story about middle-class stress. 
Note: This photo is merely of someone staring. He bears no relation to the story's protagonist.

Managing People

Today, a career counseling client told me he’d like to move from being an individual contributor to a manager of people. 

But while he's in-step with current management beliefs—be collaborative and a good listener---he fears he’s too nice and that smart, strong supervisees could steamroll him. 

He doesn’t want to spend the time and money on an MBA or other extensive management training. So he asked me if I could offer some streamlined advice. I share what I said in my article today.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Straight Talk for Employees 50+

Much advice to older employees is Pollyannish. In my article today, I attempt to offer more helpful advice.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Doubt: 19 Questions with answers less certain than many people believe.

Today, we seem ever more polarized. Of course, the U.S. presidential election brought this into full relief but apart from that.

Excessive zeal leads to excessive closed-mindedness, intolerance, and enmity.  
In a small (if lengthy) attempt to engender moderation, my article today lists some of the day’s more contentious positions and reasons why moderate positions and certainly respect for differing opinions is justified.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

12 Questions We Should Ask

Asking the right questions can get you information you want. That can also make the person feel important or cared about.

My article today lists a dozen questions that can be particularly potent.

This article is part of a series. The others are:
10 Expressions Everyone Should Stop Saying Now.
13 Things Everyone Should Stop Doing.
13 Things Many People Don’t Do but Should.
11 Questions Everyone Should Ask Themselves

Come See My One-Man Show, Odd Man Out

I'm doing my one-man-show, Odd Man Out this Saturday afternoon.

It's a bit of a misnomer to call it a one-man show because my wife  Barbara Nemko pops up periodically to annoy me. Plus, awesome singer Jeffrie Givens and I tell her amazing story in words and song. The word "amazing" is overused but not in Jeffrie's case.

The show has been reviewed twice, in the Berkeley Daily Planet and in the Napa Valley Register. 

The performance is this Saturday, May 13, at 1:00 PM at the Octopus Literary Salon: 2101 Webster St., Oakland, CA. $10. For more info and tix, click HERE.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Dual-Income Couples: Challenges and Solutions

I describe some challenges and solutions for dual-income couples in my article today.

Fired: A true story about a comeback

Movies, TV shows, and magazines tell of people whose lives were a zero and now at a 10. Far more realistic is the true story I tell in my article today.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Case for a Career as a Songwriter

As a thought experiment, I decided to try to make a case for pursuing one of the careers least likely to generate even a survival living: songwriter. I post that as my article today.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Developing Drive: Building motivation depends on why it's low.

Developing drive is among my clients' most central problems. In my article today, I offer three prescriptions for addressing the problem .

Seed: A short-short story

We can be motivated by the thought we're planting seeds. I tell a short-short story about that as my contribution today.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ignored: A short-short story

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story about a spouse who reached the boiling point.