Finding Balance and Meaning in a Nine-to-Five World

I have actually heard people say that the way they are at work is "not really the way they are." I cannot think of a sadder declaration about the conditions of one's life than that. Work should not be a life sentence for suffering.

The idea of work-life balance is an illusion we create. The reality is that we have only one life, about one third of which we spend earning a living.

So, how do you want to live your life, in and out of work? That's the question everyone seeking happiness and a sense of balance should be asking. What are your conditions of satisfaction? What are your material aspirations? How much do you need to earn to meet them? How much are your time and skills worth? What kinds of people do you prefer to work with? What kind of work really turns you on, makes you sing?

Green Collar Economy For Beginners

Our country is facing serious times. Fires, floods, foreclosures, and now a massive Wall Street financial bailout are the latest signs that we are caught in twin crises: economic downturn and environmental devastation.

Crisis No. 1: Radical Socioeconomic Inequality
The country has long been deep in the throes of a socioeconomic crisis, one characterized by contracting economic opportunity for working people, growing disparities between the races, and the hording of immense wealth and privileges at the very top of our society.

These features are getting worse, not better.

Crisis No. 2: Rampant Environmental Destruction
It is no longer a question of whether or not climate change is happening; it is a matter of how soon -- and how hard -- it will hit. When it comes to the looming climate crisis, everything is a question of degrees.

By burning fossil fuels to meet our ravenous hunger for power in our homes, factories and means of transportation, humanity adds about seven billion tons of carbon (26 billion tons of carbon dioxide) to the atmosphere every year. Meanwhile, we keep chopping down trees; those trees are the lungs of the planet, pulling carbon out of the air and breathing out oxygen. Therefore, clear-cutting whole continents undermines the earth's overall ability to soak up the carbon dioxide. In effect, we are running the carbon faucets at full blast while we plug up the carbon sinks. As a result, our carbon cup runneth over.

A look at types of discrimination in the workplace

There are a million and one ways that you can be discriminated against in the workplace, and I though that I would use this article to highlight some of them.

This is by no means a definitive list, so I would encourage you to add any further comments to the thread I have started on our discussion forum.

There are a lot of forms of discrimination that we are all aware of due to copious amounts of campaigning. Sexual discrimination and racial discrimination are the two main ones that I can think of.

Now I'm not saying that these have been totally eradicated, but at least the majority of people are aware of them and there is plenty of legislation out there to protect the "victims" (I hate that expression).

What I want to do here, is look at different forms of discrimination in the workplace and perhaps encourage a bit of discussion on the subject areas.

Becoming a celebrity personal assistant. Skills You'll Need to Get Hired.

Every celebrity personal assistant will have various duties that are specific to the profession of the person they’re working for, but the following are some basics that you should not be without. And don’t forget, the more you have to offer an employer, the more likely they are to hire you, and the more you’re likely to get paid.

Persuasive Communication

“Liza [Minnelli] didn’t have a clue how to live in the real world. If she wanted something, she expected it to be there. One Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., she called me into her dressing room and told me that since we were doing a benefit matinee on Sunday afternoon, she wanted me to decorate all the dressing rooms and fill them with flowers. It never occurred to her that all the florists and stores were already closed.

“By thinking on my feet and dropping Liza’s name (and money), I was able to talk a florist into working half the night. I found one party store that was open on Sunday. I was there when they opened, then I talked a couple of my friends into going to the theater with me. We hung crepe paper and valentines and the flowers arrived and the dressing rooms were beautiful when the actors arrived. It never occurred to Liza that accomplishing this was something of a feat.”
—Linda Brumfield, former Celebrity Personal Assistant

Janitorial job - jobs as a janitor

Someone working in a janitorial job (a janitor) is employed to clean and maintain a building or area. The specific definition of a janitorial job will differ from country to country.
In the US for example, a janitorial job would be a building superintendent or maintenance engineer (residential building or apartment block). This individual would be responsible for all aspects of keeping the building in order.

General janitorial job duties in the US involve:

  • Keeps building in an orderly condition
  • Tends to furnace, air conditioning, boiler, water systems
  • Sweeps, mops, scrubs and vacuums hallways and stairs (communal areas)
  • Empties trash
  • Carries out minor repairs, notifies management of major repairs
  • Tends to gardens
  • Advertises vacancies
  • Usually lives within the building

Graduating with a plan of action

Congratulations, you’ve just graduated with a degree in your chosen field. So what’s your next step going to be to launch your long-anticipated career? Like a young racehorse at the starting gate, you have tons of energy and determination, and are anxious to get out there and seize new career opportunities. But are you ready? Do you know what you need to do? Do you have a plan of action to turn those opportunities into a reality? If you don’t, you will need to get one.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage that the quickest route from point A to point B is a straight line. Well, launching your career is no different in terms of setting your job search goals and carrying them out diligently and methodically. You might have a few corners to navigate, but you should do your best to avoid deviating from your goal as much as possible.

One of the first things you need to decide is what type of job interests you the most. Depending on what your degree is, there might be many positions in your field to consider. For example, if you are a graduate nurse you can work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, childcare center, school, private practice, or field setting. Then, within those settings you can work within various units such as medical-surgical, pediatrics, and maternity. Then there are transitional opportunities. Let’s say you tried your hand at nursing and realized it was not what you expected. You can always consider pharmaceutical sales as a new career. Some fields, such as business management, are even more flexible. The key is to decide which direction you are headed towards and learn as much about that field as you possible can.

What do you have to offer the world

I was reading the papers the other day, and came across someone talking about "unskilled American workers." Oh my, oh my, I thought to myself, as a paraphrase of Pete Seeger's song began to run through my mind (well, strolled, actually): "When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"

Skills. Was ever there a more misunderstood subject, or a more misunderstood word?

It has been so, for ages: people "putting down" other people by saying, "They have no skills."

Let us stand in front of the mirror, and say it loud and clear: "Everyone has skills. Everyone has skills." Dozens. Hundreds.

I teach a two week workshop every summer, attended by people from around the world, poor, rich, young, old, schooled and unschooled, and no one – no one – has ever failed to have at least 500 skills. The only question is: which kind, and what are they?


6 Ways Your Computer Can Get You Fired

Your boss is furious about the abuse of the company's resources. You're facing disciplinary action because of an e-mail that made the rounds over your name.

You're being sacked for breaching corporate security. How could this happen?


The use of computer technology in the workplace has created a virtual minefield of potential pitfalls for employees who do not adhere to their corporation's computer usage policies.

Computer hardware, software and Internet access provided by an employer are intended for business use. The system belongs to the company and there should be no expectation of privacy on an employee's part. The company could engage in surveillance of your access and usage, including web surfing and e-mail content.

Here are some of the areas where you might be at risk and some tips to ensure that corporate security doesn't threaten your job security.

Why We Don't Talk

Communication is the greatest and perhaps least-used tool we have to connect with our team mates. Here are ten reasons we don’t talk and how to make a correction when necessary.

  1. Actions that you don’t agree with can be conversation stoppers. Talk about what you’d prefer and try to find some balance and a way for you to get more out of what’s going on.
  2. If it’s a difficult topic, to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, it’s best to share your insights gently. This will also help you resolve things more easily. Be Clear, be concise, and be kind.
  3. Successful leaders assign different areas of interest for team members to remain informed on, so they can share what they’ve learned with their co-workers and have fodder for new ideas.
  4.

Family: Get friendly - Don't make them choose between work and family

There's been plenty of discussion in recent years on the importance of developing a "family-friendly work culture." But what does it really mean?
Employees are asking for a workplace that helps them balance the demands of their work with their personal lives, rather than forcing them to choose one over the other. In turn, organizations that are not family-friendly will have a much harder time attracting and keeping good people.
But if your organization is not particularly family-friendly, do not despair.
There are things that you can do as a manager to support your employees' lives outside of work.


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