I hadn’t yet taken the leap from full-time employee to self-employed consultant when the pandemic first began shuttering the doors of workplaces across the US. At the time, I was working as an HR Director and was responsible for leading learning & development (L&D) initiatives for my company.
After suddenly sending our employees home to weather the pandemic from their kitchen counters and makeshift desks, my focus pivoted from executing our regularly scheduled L&D programming to figuring out how to support the needs of our newly-remote workforce.
I had no trouble finding a plethora of well-intentioned advice from remote work…
The pandemic lit a fire under those who hate the office. The internet is full of stories calling them dead and how everyone would be happier if they just went away.
I now work for myself from my bedroom 99% of the time and for me, that’s a negative not a positive. I’m tired of people assuming I love remote work because they do. In truth, I’m jealous of the employees returning to their offices. I miss having an atmosphere while I work. And no, a coffee shop isn’t the same.
The voices of those who would like to return…
I can remember the exact moment that I realized the gravity of it. A coworker had sent me a link to an article from the Mayo Clinic on Slack. I skimmed the article until I reached a section called “Job burnout symptoms”, which included a bulleted list of questions to help you diagnose whether you were suffering from job burnout. I slowed down to read the list.
Have you become cynical or critical at work?
Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
With each question that I read, my…
To hear some tell it, employers are currently struggling to fill job openings because unemployment insurance and pandemic relief funds have been far too generous. As such, people can make more sitting at home than getting off the couch, putting down the Cool Ranch Doritos, and punching a clock.
This is, of course, bullshit.
It’s finally 6 pm — an acceptable time to sign off from your company-provided laptop. You’re relieved, even if you just moved half of your to-do items to tomorrow. Eh. You’ve gotten used to it by now. It’s basically part of your routine. Besides, you’re more efficient at home. That’s what all the news articles say, so it must be true.
You turn off the volume on your computer.
Slack’s notification sound is already seared into your brain. You’ve gotten so good at listening for the faint tup-tuptuptuptup! from the other side of the house. You’ve also gotten good at…
A friend of mine earns $500K per year at his job. Ever since I met this guy years ago, he’s been telling me he will quit. At one point I was about to work with him and he told me “no point, I’ll be gone by the end of the year.” That was three years ago.
This quote from Nassim Taleb, “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary,” instantly comes to mind.
In a recent conversation with my friend, the topic came up again.
“Yep, this is the year I’ll quit.”
By this point I’ve…
Despite not actively looking for a change of role, I ended up starting a new job during the pandemic after someone reached out to me about an opening at their company.
After about a month of introductions and interviews, and one interview I thought I completely bombed, I found myself answering a call from headquarters and being told, “the team would like to extend an offer”.
I’m not going to lie; I hung up the phone and started jumping up and down. I wasn’t particularly happy in my current role, but it was paying the bills, and I had told…
I’ve always been fascinated by behavioral patterns at large. Being at Google, Amazon and Microsoft for 24 years gave me access to the data from the yearly company surveys. These consist of hundreds of questions sent to tens of thousands of engineers so they provide a wealth of insights. All kinds of interesting patterns emerge when you look at aggregated data.
In one of these companies, one of the statements engineers had to rate was something like “I have the opportunities to reach the next level in my current team.”
The aggregated results for this question were always disappointing to…
Social media is promoted as being amazing for your career.
It’s supposed to lubricate your soul. Everybody tells you at work to build a personal brand and share interesting insights with your network. HR and marketing teams even run workshops at most companies to help employees use LinkedIn. Social media is one big happy picnic with cupcakes, sugar, that can cause your career to explode.
There’s a dark side to social media.
When I started one job I got told to stop posting on LinkedIn — or any social media platform. The ask took me by surprise. I wouldn’t…
My beauty supplies are in labeled, genre-specific bins… because I had a major work deadline.
Check out the new supply shelves under our stairs, and you’ll find a 36" x 14" shelf with neatly organized stashes labeled “hair care”, “hand sanitizer”, “hand soap”, and “body wash”, as well as one I’m too embarrassed to label “luxury beauty products”. Organizing my backlog of unopened beauty products as part of a month-long orgy of sorting, corralling and (most important!) labeling just about every aspect of our household supplies: Hardware. Board games. Office supplies. Electronics cables. Cleaning products. School supplies.
The only reason…
Speaking from experience. A publication from Medium about work.