Wednesday, November 28, 2018

"S/he's Deadwood!" : Countering fear of being chopped away.

If you’ve been employed at the same place for a long time and especially if you’re looking forward to retirement, you may be perceived as deadwood. That’s dangerous because deadwood often gets chopped away before you’re ready to be cut loose from the mother ship. And if you worry that you are deadwood, it suggests that you’re burned out. Whether your being deadwood is perception or reality, the employee in final years may want to take steps. In my article today, I describe them.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Ready-Fire-Aim: Taking a low-risk action is usually wiser than extensive rumination

Many people try to ruminate their way out of a dilemma: where to live, which career to choose, how to go about meeting Mr/Ms Right, etc.

My clients and I find it more helpful to, after modest reflection, jump to a low-risk action. I offer examples in my article today.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

What You Did as a Child: Clues to what to do now?

By the time we’ve reached adulthood, our core selves may have been pruned away by external forces: parents, peers, schools, and an ever-more influential media. To live a life more authentic to your essence, it may be helpful to review your favorite childhood moments and activities. In my article today, I ask you some questions to facilitate that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Wiser to Give to the Neediest or to the Higher-Potential? A Debate.

Thanksgiving kicks off “The Season of Giving.” The unspoken next phrase is “to the ‘less fortunate’” or some such. That concept is viewed as non-controversial as apple pie. But it may merit a bit of examination.

An underdiscussed foundational belief is whether it’s wise to increase the amount of resources—our own or society’s—gives to those with the greatest deficit or to those with greater potential to make a difference. There are solid arguments on both sides. I offer them in my article today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

7 Almost-Awesomes: Not-obvious things to be grateful for

The miracle of birth—now that’s awesome. But that’s a high bar, so my article today offers some almost-awesome things worthy of our gratitude as we approach Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Fear of Embarrassment

Fear of failure is a widely cited inhibitor of self-actualization. In my experience with clients and myself, that’s often not as villainous as claimed. Irrational fear of failure is a problem: a person is competent to do X and can easily survive failure, indeed learn from it, yet nonetheless, in fear of failure, doesn’t do it. But often, task-avoidance for fear of failure is rational: the person estimates that their time would be better spent on something else.

A less discussed, often more problematic and, fortunately, more ameliorable inhibitor of wise action is fear of embarrassment: that others will think less of them. A few examples:
  • For fear of seeming less-than, being unwilling to ask one’s network for job leads.
  • For fear of sounding awkward, not asking someone for a date.
  • For fear of showing vulnerability, being too withholding.
But what to do? I offer suggestions in my article today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The World's Shortest Course on Money:

Eight months ago, I wrote an article of the same title, but there’s enough that’s new that I wanted to write this: It's my article today.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

On Time: Wringing 15 months from a 12-month year

The current round of time management advice focuses less on hacks and more on, paradoxically, slowing down. That advice reduces to two core exhortations:
  • Take more time to think about complex problems so, per Kahnemann’s Type I and Type 2 thinking, you’re more likely to generate better answers.
  • Emphasize work-life balance so your brain will be fresher and because, it is argued, that the life well-led is more than about contribution.
Those points are often Buddhist-infused: meditate, be mindful.

Predictably, the recommendation to muse more and do less has attracted fans, especially among those not very focused on productivity. And indeed, it’s unarguable that it’s wise to take a little time get clear on your life’s priorities, your foundational goals. 

But in terms of tactics, one size doesn’t fit all. Most of my clients who are making a substantial contribution (as well as good income) actually benefit more from time hacks: ways to wring 15 months from a 12-month year.  I offer them in my article today.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Collateral Material: Key to Landing a Good Job

Many employers view resumes askance, swayed by consistent research findings that a significant percent of resumes contain “creative writing.” 

Even many honest resumes have been crafted by hired-gun resume writers who not only polish accomplishments but write the resume in a style that conveys intelligence and organizational ability that only sometimes reflects the candidate’s.

Unless a resume contains incontrovertible excellence, e.g., a quick set of promotions at an A-list employer, or is a referral from a trusted colleague, the resume, no matter how primped, is unlikely to lift an application to the top of an often thick pile.

Thus, most job applicants are wise to show, not just tell. That means including collateral material with job applications. My article today describes the major types.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

What Will Happen to the "Bottom Half?"

Predictions vary as to the percent of jobs that will be lost to automation, offshoring, and gigging but it’s likely to be between 20 and 60 percent within the next decade or two. 

Consensus is that much of the remaining decent-paying employment will demand ever more brainpower, technical chops, and communication skills. And with so many applicants available, employers will be able to insist also on people who are likeable, reliable, enthusiastic and healthy.

The Big Question is, what’s going to happen to the many millions of people who don’t get hired for those jobs? I fear that things will be different from previous technological waves in which new technologies, net, created more new jobs. I predict that because so much of the future economy will be based on digital products and services, which can be produced by the millions with a push of a button.
My article today describes what will likely be a problemed existence for the "bottom half" and possible approaches to ameliorating the situation.