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Archive for the ‘What do you think?’ Category

Is Technology Making Us Too Accessible?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

It’s undeniable that technology has revolutionized the way we communicate with one another. At this point it’s almost cliché to talk about that fact – it’s typically what you say to a 75-year-old when you’re shooting the breeze – they say something like, “Wow technology really is amazing… I was able to FaceTime my granddaughter this morning!” And you just nod and smile, feeling like FaceTime is old hat.

But, the other piece of technology that’s undeniable is the way that it’s made us constantly available when it comes to personal communication. Work is one thing – at least there’s an out of office or designated time off for most people. But when it comes to personal texts and calls, we are always “on the clock”. Generally speaking, people expect close to immediate responses while texting and when that’s not the case they start to wonder why they haven’t received a reply. Are you mad at them? Are you avoiding them? Are you too busy for them? Do you not care about them? Is there someone else you’d rather be talking to?

To be a sane person though, you need to be able to “go off the grid” without becoming the jerk that never responds, and the lack of that ability creates anxiety in many people. According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, nearly one-fifth of Americans identified the use of technology as a very or somewhat significant source of stress. On a typical non-work day 34% of people surveyed said they were constantly connected to at least one device and 47% said they were often connected. As quoted in a TONIC article about the anxiety involved in texting culture, Natasha Schull, a professor at New York University said, “There’s a huge amount of chance and uncontrollability. You can’t really rest when you have an action out in the world and you haven’t gotten the feedback yet. You get in a heightened state of agitation.” Most of us know how it feels to send off a risky text and wait in agony for a response.

So –– what do you think? How do you balance the ever-present importance of technology with the sanity that comes from being out of reach?

Using Strategy to Prioritize Goals

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

With the summer ending and fall nearing, it’s a logical time to evaluate priorities and determine how time can be spent and what can still be accomplished in 2018. There are endless things to do –– time with friends and family, work and professional growth, giving or volunteering time, hobbies… But how do we determine priorities and how our time should be spent?

In a recent book, The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate, author Fran Hauser discusses the value in sitting down and analyzing the way you spend your time and determining if your choices are bringing you closer to your goals.

Hauser described a system she uses to prioritize her goals. She draws four squares on a piece of paper and in each square, she writes an important area of her life such as: Me, Friends & Family, Career, and the World. Then in each square she lists her top priorities related to each section, only allowing herself to write a maximum of three priorities per square, to prevent herself from overextension.

Participating in that exercise led her to an interesting realization. She wrote, “When I took a step back and looked at my squares, it was clear to me right away that my calendar and to-do list were not aligned with the priorities I had identified. I began shifting my schedule and commitments by saying no to and delegating some of the requests that were not aligned.”

This lesson is something that we can all take to heart –– are the things that we’re doing on a regular basis intentionally working toward our goals? Have we even identified our goals in each category? Understanding what the major goals in our lives are is a key component to deciding how to spend the time we have. The sooner goals are apparent, the faster we’re able to use our time in the most effective and efficient ways. How are you spending your time ?

Does Following the Rules Prevent Progress?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Rule following comes naturally to some. Without rules or guidelines, there is chaos…. Rules have benefits for safety, security and order; for personal integrity and ethics. But, we are all faced with moments when blind rule-following only breeds inefficiency and mind-numbing dullness.

Rarely have innovative ideas followed the so called “rules” of the era. At some point we all naturally begin to understand which rules are incontestable and which are up for debate. Think back to grade school. You were asked to complete busy work every day and those assignments in total made up, let’s say, 10% of your grade –even though they took up majority of your class time. If you had only completed a few of those assignments but aced the tests and projects, you would have saved hours and still gotten an A. But it wasn’t about efficiency, it was about learning to follow the rules.

We’re taught about the vitality of rule following from the very beginning. It’s ingrained in us strongly by parents, teachers, even peers. But is this deep-seated convention inhibiting creative thinking, innovation and efficiency?

While a child is taught that a rule is unavoidable; an adult may identify a simpler process to attain the same or improved outcome. Sometimes the comfort of a rule or a process that is set-in-stone prevents people from even searching for a better way. A commitment to innovation and progress requires some level of openness to changing the game and breaking the rules.

Starbucks or Save?

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

This is the question that haunts us on early mornings five days a week. On one hand if you saved five dollars every day, that could really add up! On the other hand, five dollars is a small price to pay for happiness…

Or could it be that it’s not even the taste or caffeine that you want, but rather you want something to hold. Let’s face it, people are more confident with a drink in their hand. Alcohol? yes—but your morning coffee shop drink can have some similar effects. Just like a singer who has never had a mic stand before, there’s comfort in holding on. Having a Starbucks drink in hand does a lot for a person—all of a sudden they’re caffeinated, part of a club, more proficient in their skills, and five years older.

So, when you go to choose if you’ll be settling for your Keurig or embracing that five-dollar Pumpkin Spice latte (or whatever your drink of choice may be), you’re really deciding who you want to be that day.

Maybe this should be considered in terms of your return on investment. If that Starbucks drink will motivate you to work harder which in turn pushes you towards success, you might make more money that way than you ever would have by saving your daily coffee spend. Or if you invested that Starbucks money right now, and make your own coffee for the rest of your life, you might be able to retire early. It’s certainly something to ponder…

But, in the end regardless of your opinions on this debated topic, you’ll still be in the Starbucks drive through on Monday. Happy Drinking!

From EHarmony to Indeed: How can dating experience guide your job search?

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

It seems to be the tragic plight of finding love. Most of us have been there—one person thinks they’ve found their dream relationship, but the other party isn’t so sure.

It can be similar in the job search as a candidate might think they’re interviewing for their dream job, while the employer isn’t as smitten with the prospect, or vice versa. Ultimately, what we’re all looking for is the sweet spot where the employer wants the candidate as much as the candidate wants the job, and in dating terms one searching soul finds another.

Determining Your Strategies

While some people choose to accept the first job they’re offered to gain experience in a field (even if they don’t consider it ideal), others may elect to hold out for a position that may come later in their desired field. Similarly, some desire to refrain from dating until they’ve found an ideal candidate, while others will date someone for the experience, knowing they will never be a long-term partner. So, should you ‘swipe right’ on every profile and apply to every job posting, or should you focus on the occasional stand out? Is one option better than the other when looking to land your first job? Not necessarily, but determining a personal strategy will serve you well.

‘Creeping’ Productively

Whether it’s LinkedIn or Instagram, healthy ‘creeping’ could aid your search. Most people are guilty of the occasional perusing of a new love interest or ex’s social media, and this same concept can be true in the job search. Following position openings, field-related thought leaders, and organizations that you admire can be a great way to gain both a better understanding of the field you are interested in and connect with other like-minded individuals. ‘Creeping’ on a potential employer can give you good insight into their background, what they deem important, and the kind of work ethic they expect.

Although it may be overstated, maintaining your social media can be even more important than viewing others. Just as you would be more interested in a dating profile with a picture, LinkedIn reports a similar finding, “LinkedIn profiles with professional head-shots get 14 times more profile views.” Try to view your social media as an outsider would, what perceptions first come to mind?

Taking The Advice Of Others Carefully

A job search is a very personal thing. Just like dating, every person you encounter will give you their personal opinion, story of their successful job search (or marriage), plea for you to stay in the area, or their 5 step plan to being employed. They will share their dominant narratives with you like, “when you stop looking you’ll find the perfect spouse or perfect job!” But, at the end of the day, the question remains: what are you looking for? They can’t determine your non-negotiables, and their ability to find one spouse or one job does not deem them an expert. Stay true to your goals.