February 26, 2018

Should career decisions be based on work life balance?




Recently, I was talking with a millenial who was in the middle of a job search. She thought it would be fun to work at a BMW dealership and learn all the features of the luxury cars. She imagined herself test driving the new models and playing with the gadgets inside. But when the manager of the dealership told her she would have to work many nights and weekends, she changed her mind about the job. "There is no way I'm giving up my weekends," she told me. 

My young nephew, who has been in the workforce about six months, recently told me he is not happy in his job. "I didn't expect to have to work Saturdays," he said. "I don't think I'm going to be in this job for long.

Research repeatedly has shown that millennials want work life balance. It's a huge factor in their job satisfaction. According to the 2016 Millennial Survey by Deloitte, 16.8 percent of Millennials evaluate career opportunities by good work-life balance, followed by 13.4 percent who look for opportunities to progress and 11 percent who seek flexibility (i.e., remote working and flexible hours). Millennials want the flexibility to prioritize whatever (work or life) is most important that day.

While that makes some Gen Xers and Boomers frustrated, it's a sign of the times and it's not going to change.

Still, when you think about it, isn't work life balance a concern for all of us? Workers around the globe have been finding it harder to juggle the demands of work and the rest of life in the past five years. According to the 2016 LinkedIn Censuswide Study, nearly half of American workers would give up the corner-office job and a high salary to gain more flexibility in their schedules.

Most older workers realize the more responsibility we take on as we move up the chain of command, the more we must sacrifice our work life balance. That's why the higher positions often come with higher stakes and higher pay. Sometimes though, there's a point when the pay and the job title aren't worth the lack of balance.

I have watched many people burn out and get to that point. When we no longer want to sacrifice work life balance, we have to make some tough career decisions. Now with the job market improving, I'm seeing more people make those decisions in favor of better work life balance. I'm seeing people give up promotions, change departments, change careers, and fire clients in an effort to reclaim their sanity and readjust the demands on their time. Should they make career decisions based on work life balance? If it's a priority, they should.

Today on my CindyKeepsUp blog, I wrote about how best selling author Kristin Hannah has made difficult career decisions and got them right. If we follow her lessons, we have a better chance of getting our difficult career decisions right, too.

For most employees, frustration lies with bosses who don't understand their needs:

-Millennials don't get bosses who don't realize technology frees them to work productively from anywhere.

-Gen Xers don't get why using a flexible schedule would still come with negative consequences.

-Boomers don't get co-workers who don't realize an older worker deserves a schedule that allows them to scale back but still add value to an employer.

Search the job ads and there is a LOT of language in them that advertises work life balance. Increasingly, American workers don't believe they have to choose between financial/career success or having a fulfilling personal life. Some smart employers understand that way of thinking, while others aren't responding as quickly as they need to keep their talent from leaving.

When faced with tough work life choices, it's best to think long term. It might be that your industry or role doesn't lend itself to the work life you now seek, and you have to focus on a bigger career change, not just change companies. It might be that you need to explore changing your role at your existing organization. Or it could be that you're ready to retire early, start your own business or search for a new job.

Career decisions based on work life needs are becoming increasingly common. If only more employers recognized the trend!



February 15, 2018

When a high school mass shooting hits home

My son came home from high school yesterday extremely upset. He had learned about a school shooting on social media almost minutes after it happened. He told me he was scared. He knows kids at the school where the shooting happened, and so do I. 

As the afternoon unfolded, I checked in with friends who have children at the school and waited anxiously for them to respond. I watched the news reports that showed traumatized students, parents, and even visibly shaken law enforcement. This was a tragedy our community had never wanted to endure and it felt unfathomable. My emotions ranged from sadness to anger. 

As a working mother, I have always wanted to trust that school is a safe place to send my children when I'm a work. I want to know that a troubled teenager who has been expelled from school does not have access to an assault rifle and will harm my child as he innocently walks out of school for a fire drill. How can I balance work and family when I'm worried about my children's safety in what should be one of the safest places in America -- school?

Something needs to change. 

Watching the faces of parents on television waiting for their children was beyond painful. And to envision the faces of those parents whose children never met up with them. I just can't. 

As a nation, we urge employers to come up with family-friendly policies so we can give our best to our employers and our families. We reward companies who show support for employees with labels like Great Places to Work. We give our schools grades and hold them to a standard of education. But what about our children's safety when they're at school. We have not done enough to make our schools the safest they can be at a time when mental health concerns are soaring and assault weapons are too easy to get.

This time, let's do more than say prayers for the families of the victims of the shooter. Let's look at making high-level policy changes that protect our children and give parents better peace of mind for their children's safety. I know anything can happen on any given day and we can't bubblewrap our kids and protect them from the world. 

But the real world is getting way too violent. So let's try. For all those families who lost their children yesterday, let's try.


February 06, 2018

How to Respond to Bad Behavior in the Workplace

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Bad behavior in the workplace. It’s everywhere. Talk and accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct are almost daily occurrences. What has been most surprising to me is that bad behavior seems to be prevalent in every type of profession. So, when TONE networks held an event called Workplace Playbook for Women: The right response to wrong behavior, I tuned into its Facebook Live to hear what the experts had to say.

The lineup: Liz Weaver O'Keefe,  Dr. RamaniValerie Grubb . Their expertise is described below.

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Right out of the gate experts told us about the two types of sexual harassment:

  1. Quid pro quo(meaning “this for that”)  - this type of sexual harassment occurs when it is stated or implied that an act or employment decision depends upon whether the employee submits to  conduct of a sexual nature
  2. Hostile environment – this type of sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive working or learning environment

Next, came the helpful part. 

We learned strategies for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace. 

I am going to share what I learned. 

Know your company policy.

Valerie Grubb, a workplace expert, shared this insight with the audience: “Be very familiar with your employer’s policy and procedures. Information is power and you need to understand what your rights are. If you don’t follow policy you can negate your ability or rights to file for sex harassment.”

Most policies tell employees to report bad behavior immediately, usually to HR. But what happens if you don’t have an HR department or if HR tells you to suck it up and don’t rock the boat?  “Look for someone outside of HR you could go to, maybe someone in legal that you trust,” Grubb said.

Collect documentation.

Whether the bad behavior is an ongoing problem or one-time event, when you report misconduct or harassment, bring any documentation you can get. You need documentation. What should that documentation look like? Grubb said it should look like this: “Here’s what happened, here’s what I did about it.”

Have an action plan.

To tackle the bad behavior in the moment, you have options. Dr. Ramani Durvasula said she realizes that when misconduct happens, the receiver often is in state of shock and usually either screams or stays silent. “You’ve got to learn from each one of these events,” she said.  “The next time, be ready. Have your well thought out response in the back of your mind.”

If touching or groping is involved, tackle it head on, Dr. Durvasula says. For example, you could say, “Wow that was really awkward, particularly with all the headlines going on right now” or you could say, “I don’t appreciate your behavior or comment and I need it to stop.”  The important thing, she emphasized, is that you need to make them understand their behavior is not appreciated. She acknowledged that some people never will get it. “Those are more toxic individuals,” she said.

Don’t be intimidated.

It’s rather typical to worry that reporting misconduct will cost you your job, especially if the perpetrator has power. If HR is not going to help you and finding another job might not be an option, try to find a champion in your company, someone who can help you, Grubb suggested. At the end of the day, if you are telling HR legal that you have an issue and they do nothing about it,  you have to quit, she said. “If you’ve been documenting information, it might be worth going to a lawyer, or the EEOC, or legal aid.”

Stick up for others.

If you notice a male supervisor intimidating a female employee, speak up.

“Put on your women’s ears,” Dr. Durvasula said. “Listen for the interruptions when another woman is presenting a point. When she is interrupted, say ‘hey didn’t get to hear rest of what Vakl said.” Then turn toward her and ask “Val what were you going to say?”

If you see a woman being treated inappropriately, speak up to empower her. Dr. Durvasula suggests: “I’m so sorry. I just saw that and you did nothing wrong." As the doctor noted:  "When a woman is suffering, it is your business.”

Say no firmly. 

TONE network's Liz O’Keefe asked the panelist how to handle awkward date requests in the workplace. "If someone at work continues to ask you out after you have repeatedly said no, you need to be incredibly clear that you are not interested," Grubb said.  Say something like, “I don’t appreciate that you keep asking me out. I need you to stop.”

Another awkward scenario might occur when joking around turns offensive.

“I will say funny joke and someone takes to next level,” Grubb said. “That’s when you need to sit and in a calm voice have a conversation and outline the boundaries.”

Put yellers in perspective

How do you handle a yeller or screamer in the workplace? There is not a simple answer, and yet, yelling is not considered sexual harassment, even if it’s a way of asserting control. Grubb said she has handled yellers by .  O’Keefe raised the question of how to react when just the opposite occurs:  a male client or boss calls you sweetie. Dr. Durvasula offered an easy response: “Call him sweetie right back.”

To read more on handling bad workplace behavior, visit my personal blog CindyKeepsUp.com.


January 11, 2018

Do You Have One of the Most High Stress Jobs in America?

Enlisted Military Personnel, Firefighters, Airline Pilots and Police Officers are the four most stressful jobs of 2018!

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Hair Stylist, Audiologist and University Professor are the three lowest stress jobs of 2018!

The truth is, no job is ever going to be free from stress. Some days, it feels like just getting up and out the door for work is stressful. Am I right?

So when looking at what makes a job stressful, CareerCast identified these factors:   Being in the public eye, facing imminent risk of bodily harm to oneself or one's patient, and dealing with high travel or workplace hazards. Working for a jerk of a boss was not one of the factors but it is one that I would attribute to a stressful job.

If you're considering pursuing a less stressful job, you might want to think about the job's growth outlook. While Jeweler (#7) is a low-stress profession, it has a negative growth outlook of 3%. On the other hand, Operations Research Analyst, which comes in as the 9th least stressful job, has a 27% growth outlook, according to CareerCast.com. 

Another consideration:  "For those who thrive on stress, one of our most stressful professions may be a good fit for you," says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast.com.

Check out the full list of CareerCast's Most and Least Stressful Jobs

Below are the top 10 lists and their growth outlook:

CareerCast's Least Stressful Jobs of 2018


Annual Median Salary

Growth Outlook

Stress Score

1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer




2. Hair Stylist




3. Audiologist




4. University Professor




5. Medical Records Technician




6. Compliance Officer




7. Jeweler




8. Pharmacy Technician




9. Operations Research Analyst




10. Medical Laboratory Technician




CareerCast's Most Stressful Jobs of 2018


Annual Median Salary

Growth Outlook

Stress Score

1. Enlisted Military Personnel (E3, 6+ years of experience)




2. Firefighter




3. Airline Pilot




4. Police Officer




5. Event Coordinator




6. Reporter




7. Broadcaster




8. Public Relations Executive




9. Senior Corporate Executive




10. Taxi Driver





January 09, 2018

Will working from home work against you?




My friend has worked at home for six years. Recently, she was interviewing for her dream job when the interviewer asked her "Won't it be hard for you to work from an office again?" My friend responded that working in an office setting isn't foreign to her and she could easily adapt again.

After the interview, my friend called me concerned. "Is the fact that I've been working from home going to work against me?," she wanted to know.

It's a good question, and worth asking. For all the benefits of working from home, doing so comes with challenges. There are managers who are convinced you are lying on the couch watching television all day or overlook you to spearhead a project because "out of sight, out of mind." There are co-workers who are jealous of your work from home arrangement or who think they should earn more than you because they work harder. 

So yes, sometimes working from home will work against you. And, I suppose when hunting for a new job, having worked from home could be viewed as  negative, unless you emphasize the skills gained from working a flexible or remote job.

For example, such an arrangement takes discipline, organization, communication, adoption of new technology and a conscious effort to stay connected  -- skills you might get in the office but put into practice much more in a work-from-home arrangement. If you find yourself in a job interview, you likely will need to address this.

The good news is that working from home is becoming increasingly more common -- which hopefully means the stigma around it will fade. A 2017 Gallup survey found more American employees are working remotely, and they are doing so for longer periods. Indeed, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely, according to the survey of more than 15,000 adults.

We all know about how some companies have struggled with how much to embrace remote work. Yahoo and Aetna are very public examples of companies that received attention when they brought workers back to the office. But recent news stories have reported that in the best job market in a decade, employers are adding more remote workers. Online job board FlexJobs.com has listings for remote workers for large companies and small employers in cities across the country.

As someone who works from home, I have experienced the benefits and the challenges of the arrangement. I miss schmoozing with co-workers but I love making my own schedule each work day. I can firmly say most of us who work from home thrive upon it and will even argue that we work much harder than our counterparts in the office. Yes, in some instances working from home can work against you. But as flexible work arrangements become more utilized as a way to fill positions, more managers will experience the talents workers can contribute regardless of their location.

What are your experiences with working from home? Have you been penalized in any way for it?


December 28, 2017

Don't give up on work life balance


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On Twitter, I noticed this hashtag trending: #NextYearIPromiseTo.....

I'm pretty sure there were lots of people answering with....achieve a better work life balance.

For me, and for others, it's been a pretty tough year. We want to make the most of our time, but there's never enough of it to do all that we want in our jobs and our personal lives. We want to find a level of contentment, but we have these crazy busy schedules. Most of us have difficulty balancing life’s competing demands. 

 Here is some encouragement: don't give up trying!

If you are exhausted, stressed, frustrated or overworked, you can turn things around in 2018.  

The key is spending the next few days thinking about what you can easily change to help you become more fulfilled, and which life changes will take a lot more effort. 

Start with your job.

* Ask yourself some questions. Did you stay too late in the office too often? Did you take on projects that didn't pay off? Did you waste time checking email instead of doing high priority work? Did you put in a ton of extra work to get a customer, raise or promotion that never materialized? 

Having a productive and happy life as well as having a successful career requires mastering how to say no to what didn't work for you or what caused you stress and focusing on what activities did lead to results or personal satisfaction. Spend the time now to figure that out. 

* Consider how you used technology. Between apps and new devices, technology is making our lives easier, but it should not control our lives. For many people, this might mean we struggled in 2017 with powering off technology when spending time with friends and families or when focusing on certain activities. Think about what it will take to do better in the new year.

Next move on to your personal life.

*Again, ask yourself some questions. Did I show up as the friend, partner, lover, parent that I wanted to be? Did I spend enough time on activities I consider priorities? Do I need to sacrifice more to achieve career success, or did I sacrifice too much? Did I practice the self-care I need to be at my best?

* Now, ponder your answers. Which disappointments are easy to correct and which require some focused effort? Which fixes require communication with a boss or a spouse? As the clock ticks down to a brand new year there is opportunity for less stressful life than the one you led in 2017, but you're going to need to live and work differently.

Remember, people with well-maintained priorities leave work or meetings when family and friends need them. And, people who feel they have balance are present when they are engaged in activities outside the workplace. Most important, people who aren't exhausted make time for exercise and stress relief.

The key to work life balance is making conscious choices every day and being happy with those choices. Here's an article about five habits that lead to good work life balance. If you feel your life tipped out of balance this year, don't give up. Decide now what you want to do differently in 2018, write it down, put it somewhere visible, and commit to new habits for a better work life balance in the new year.


December 13, 2017

Coping with holiday depression and winter blues at work and home





Are you stressed? Feeling down about your work situation or your personal life?

This is a tough time of year. Many people suffer from the winter blues. 

At work, many of us feel disappointed we aren't getting a year-end bonus, or we haven't received a promotion, or we didn't make that move to a better job like we thought we would when 2017 started.  At home, we feel a general sense of sadness that's difficult to explain. 

Coping with the loss of a loved one or tight work deadlines, end-of-year workplace pressure and the reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter are all factors that may contribute to a person’s depression during the holidays.

If we give in to our feels of depression or sadness, it can make the last few weeks of the year awful at work and at home. 

So today, my guest blogger offers some help. 

Ketamine_hr-0560Dr. Francisco Cruz, lead psychiatrist at
Ketamine Health Centers, suggests five ways to minimize seasonal depression and increased anxiety that tends to onset in the fall and continues into the winter months. Cruz is double board certified in general psychiatry and addiction medicine. He has been practicing psychiatry for 13 years. Ketamine Health Centers successfully treat patients everyday living with depression,
suicidal ideation, PTSD, among other mental and chronic pain conditions.

1.Keep your goals in perspective and communicate. If your work situation is causing your depression to worsen, ask your supervisor what you  can do differently to secure the next promotion. Be mindful of his/her feedback and create a personal checklist of action items that will lead to enhanced professional development going forward.

2. Plan ahead. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Adding holiday parties and gift gathering to your already busy schedule can lead to increased anxiety.Have a set plan in mind to help keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed by too many simultaneous responsibilities.

3. Be prepared for something to go wrong. Entertaining guests can also present emotional challenges. It is difficult to control everyone, but for your own sake, it is best to mentally prepare yourself for holiday “hiccups.” This can include your guests arriving late or a prepared dish burning. 

4. Practice extra self-care.  Sweets are a temptation and can derail your diet and workout routine, while also causing irritability and moodiness. Indeed, a study conducted by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that refined foods such as white bread, white rice and soda can trigger hormonal responses in the body to reduce blood sugar levels. These responses may cause mood changes, fatigue, and other signs of depression.  Even throughout the holiday mayhem, strive to make time for yourself and don’t neglect your health. Great ways to stay on track is by limiting the amount of desserts you consume, sleeping for seven to eight hours per night, squeezing in time for the gym.

5. Monitor alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can make the winter blues even worse. Drink festively, not to get drunk or alter your mood. 

6. Breakaway from the stereotypes: If you are trying to meet a certain expectation about the “correct” way holidays should be celebrated, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

7. Be okay with feeling some sadness.  The holiday season can come at a time when you may have experienced a traumatic event or an anniversary of a loved one’s death. These reasons can easily generate an increase in distress. Know that it is okay to put all of the celebrations on hold to reflect on the healing process. Through your grieving, aim to remember the good memories in a positive light.

8. Don’t be a lone soldier: Talk to someone that you trust -- a family member or a close friend --who can lend a listening ear. You can also seek therapy. People often avoid seeking professional help because of their concern about judgment by others. The greatest misconception is believing that therapy is only for those on the verge of losing sanity.  The process of overcoming trauma or dealing with grief or depression can be difficult. With the help of an expert, feelings can often be better navigated in a healthy manner.

Wishing everyone good mental health during the holidays and in the new year!


November 30, 2017

Holiday Gift Giving in the Office: Dos and Don'ts




One holiday season, I wanted to give my boss a gift. He had been a mentor during the year and I wanted to show appreciation. So, I gave him a gift card to his favorite store. It wasn't for much, but it was just enough to show I was grateful for his guidance. Still, handing it to him felt a little awkward. 

Around this time of year, many people struggle with who in their office to get gifts and what to give them. We don't want to appear ungrateful, nor do we want to look like a suck up. And, we especially don't want to go broke buying co-workers gifts.

A few years ago, I tackled this topic in a Miami Herald column. I discovered the different ways people handle office gift giving:

Group gifts

One day in the company lunchroom, Jason Ibarra and his co-workers had a conversation about what they were going to buy their boss for the holidays. As the agency director at Exults Internet Marketing, Ibarra considered aloud how much to spend and asked: “What do you get a guy who probably has money to buy himself more than I can afford?”

Ibarra solved his dilemma by putting a black-painted jar in the lunchroom at his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., firm. He suggested staff put in whatever they feel comfortable giving for the boss’ gift. They collected $250 and bought the boss a fishing rod, which they presented to him as a group gift for Hanukkah.

Top-down giving 

Etiquette experts say bosses should give their employees gifts to thank them for performance or dedication, but employees don’t need to give a gift back. In the workplace, giving should be down — supervisors to employees — rather than up.

“Don’t feel the need to reciprocate if your boss is showing appreciation for your year of hard work,” said Amanda Augustine, a careers expert with TheLadders, an online job-matching site for career-driven professionals.

If you do give the boss a gift, do it for the right reason. “If you feel appreciative of opportunities this year to work in your organization and you’re pleased with the way you were treated, it’s nice to acknowledge a supervisor with something small and a handwritten note,” said Alice Bredin, small-business advisor to American Express Open.

A thank you note 

Experts say the best gifts are handwritten notes and something consumable, such as a platter or basket of treats. The worst gifts are expensive or too personal, such as jewelry, cologne or intimate apparel.

If you’re giving a gift to curry favor, you might want to reconsider. “If you are not a cultural fit or under-performing, sending the boss a really nice gift is not going to save your job,” said Augustine of TheLadders. “The person is going to feel uncomfortable or offended, and, either way, I don’t think the outcome is going to be favorable.”

Do what others do

If you are new to the company, it pays to do a little research on precedent by asking a veteran employee. “On-boarding 101 is always enlisting someone who can tell you what you will not find in the company handbook,” Augustine said. If there isn’t a gift-giving precedent, she advises erring on the side of caution and especially avoiding giving “up.” Usually giving food -- homemade banana bread, chocolate covered pretzels or box of candy -- is a safe bet.

Secret Santa
Some office tackled gift giving by setting up a Secret Santa where everyone anonymously buys for a co-worker. If your office has this type of gift exchange, it's a good idea to participate. Most office put a price limit on gift giving, typically around $10. If you really can't afford to participate, you can opt out. But that's only in an extreme case. Participating shows you are a team player and solves the dilemma of who to buys gifts.
By the way, this year, there are new rules for the office holiday party. To learn what they are, visit my new blog: CindyKeepsUp.com.

November 27, 2017

How risky is it to shop online at work?

Admit it, most of us will at least browse at the Cyber Monday deals online at work today. The lure of a bargain is just too hard to resist. But is it wrong — ethically and legally to shop online at work? And, if you’re going to do it, how do you ensure you don’t get caught?

We all know the lines have blurred between work and our personal lives in a way that has led many of us to feel comfortable doing personal tasks from the office. When you regularly work more than 40 hours a week, a quick purchase from Amazon Prime in between work assignments seems like no big deal. Right?

On Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, most of us figure: Why miss out on bargains that could be sold out by the time we get home? 

It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Americans plan to spend more time shopping Cyber Monday deals while at work this year than last, according to Robert Half Technology. Last year, 41 percent of employees said they spent an hour or more online shopping while at work on Cyber Monday. This year, 23% said they plan to do even more online shopping at work  this year, the Robert Half survey found.

So, should bosses take an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” attitude towards online shopping from the workplace? 

If you are a boss who monitors how much employees shop on the clock or bans it altogether, you can come off as a BIG morale killer. (Good news, fewer companies are banning access to online shopping sites this holiday season.)  

However, if you’re a boss who turns a blind eye to online shopping at work, you need to do it for everyone, not just a chosen few.

Overall, many of us think our boss is totally cool with us snapping up deals while at work: 41 percent of employees surveyed by Robert Half said their bosses were okay with employees shopping online during work on Cyber Monday.

As the boss, you probably want to acknowledge online shopping on Cyber Monday (and during the holiday season) is happening and ask employees to be mindful of the time they spend shopping during work hours. You might also want to urge them to be to be careful when visiting sites online sites from a work computer.

Now, if you are the employee and you’re going to shop online at work, I recommend you have an idea of what you want, you go to one website, buy it and logout. 

Also, I suggest you refrain from bragging about your great deal because that just makes it easier for your shopping at work to get back to the boss. 

There are a few other tricks so you might want to check out this article on how to shop discreetly at work. 

This year, employees seem less concerned with whether we will get caught shopping at work because we don’t have to do it from our work computers. We can sit in our offices or cubicles (or head to the restroom) and shop on our smartphones or mobile devices. Wireless carriers now offer such great data plans that most of us barely need the company network to goof off anymore. The prevailing attitude seems to be: Why not get great deals from the comfort of the office, we spent most of our time at work anyway?

Nearly half of workers (46 percent) said they grab most of their shopping deals while on their breaks or at lunch, while others make purchases whenever they have a free moment during the day, keeping browser tabs readily open (29 percent).

But be careful....It's not worth getting fired over a sale on TVs!

Even if you believe your boss is okay with your Cyber Monday shopping at work, be discreet. According to CareerBuilder, about 7% of hiring managers said they have fired an employee for holiday shopping at work.

If you plan to shop from your office or cubicle this year, here are some tips:

• Only browse the Internet and do online shopping during lunch or other breaks.

• Don’t put projects or deadline work on hold for online shopping.

• Never shop online at work while you’re on the phone or sending important e-mail messages. You’ll be distracted and could miss something important.

• Be careful about the websites you visit and items you’re searching for. For instance, if you’re planning to buy a friend an inappropriate gag gift, that’s fine–but don’t do it from your work computer.

• Don’t distract those who sit around you with excitement over great deals.

Most important, don’t go overboard and get fired for shopping too much at work.

John Reed, of Robert Half Technology says “Many businesses acknowledge the need for flexibility during the hectic holiday season and allow some online shopping at work, within reason.”

 “Employers are looking at it from a realistic perspective,”Reed says. “The reality is that allowing employees to tackle personal to-do lists at work can help maintain productivity because workers are spared the traffic delays and long lines that accompany holiday crowds.”

So, how much shopping do you plan to do from the workplace this holiday season? 

November 09, 2017

Work Life Balance Is Important, So Is Staying Current


This morning, I was walking with my neighbor and she announced she was super stressed. She explained that she already has a giant workload and she's just been asked to take on a new project. The solution seems simple to me as someone who has been writing about work life balance for more than a decade.

"Tell whoever wants you to take on the project that you have too much on your plate right now to be successful in adding another responsibility," I told her. "No matter what argument you get in response, repeat that you have too much on your plate already. 

For the rest of the walk, she repeatedly said, "I have too much on my plate already" practicing her new response. 

It's not easy to say no. It's not easy to keep from feeling overwhelmed. It's not easy to navigating how to have a career and a successful home life.

But I see another challenge ahead that might be equally as pressing: staying current in your field and in life. Keeping up to date on trends and emerging technology will be critical to being successful in the next few years.  

The biggest barrier to doing the work to stay relevant is often the feeling that you don't have time to fit in professional development. But you HAVE to if you want to stay employable and advance in your field.

Don't worry, I have your back. I have launched a new blog to keep you up to date with what you need to know to stay at the top of your game.

My new blog is called: CindyKeepsUp.com. So, keep up with me and let me hear from you!


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