Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

My Views and Values, Told Through Famous Quotes

For a time I maintained this blog the way I thought any professional (e.g., dentist, accountant, etc.) would by keeping the content restricted to my trade and professional interests. Along the way, however, I woke up about something I’d been blissfully unaware of before (thanks partly to the fact that my own cultural subgroup still doesn’t practice this). I discovered that other people (perhaps the majority) in modern western cultures, for example in the U.S., deliberately try to ensure that new friends and businesses they frequent match their values in much the same way they match their socks. If this comparison sounds strange, it’s because this whole social practice of introducing your values to new acquaintances to see if both parties agree on them is alien to me.

I won’t perpetuate this practice within my own inner circle because we’re all fine with not knowing each other’s political values. There are so many other topics to connect on! However, I’m broadcasting this for the sake of voluntary association decisions where they concern me because I’ve observed a general decline in tolerance towards those holding different values (as people often eventually find out if you match them or not), which makes working together difficult for those who’re wildly different. Borrowing from my Quora answer, What are the wisest quotes you’ve ever heard or read? by Lynn Patra, I wrote:

I can’t imagine these quotes will appeal to everyone but, then again, few things have universal appeal. For me, personally, the following quotes contribute some counter-cultural wisdom relevant to the times and the dominant mindset in my region.

On geniuses and experts:

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A More Pleasant Breakdown of the Gender “Pay Gap” [Infographic]

Many have viewed, or heard of, that viral “car crash” of an interview between the now very famous Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and Cathy Newman, English journalist and presenter for Channel 4 News. If you haven’t viewed it however, here it is:

Without delving into the entire back-and-forth, like Peterson, I too mentioned the different, naturally occurring rate in which the personality trait agreeableness/disagreeableness appears between men and women, collectively, as one factor contributing to the alleged pay gap. (See this Wiki article on agreeableness for more detailed explanation.) This section of What do you think about the recent Jordan Peterson interview? by Lynn Patra clarifies that this is a proportional, rather than an absolute, difference of a tendency between men and women:

When talking about personality differences between men and women collectively, [Cathy Newman] also displayed a frustratingly common misunderstanding that these are absolute differences instead of differences in proportion (i.e., the frequency) of an observed trait or tendency.

If I’d been in Peterson’s place, I think I would’ve slowed wayyy down and tried to illustrate what proportional differences between groups look like, for example (and this is a hypothetical example because I don’t know if a consensus exists with regard to the specific proportions of agreeableness/disagreeableness between groups – where A = agreeable and D = disagreeable):

Men: D, D, D, D, D, A, A, A, A, A

Women: D, D, D, A, A, A, A, A, A, A

For awhile, it seemed like Peterson and Newman were going around in circles about this. And I know a person doesn’t get it when I hear, “But women aren’t all the same!” or “But there are some women who aren’t like that!” as Newman expressed.

Of course, the “pay gap” results from a complex mixture of numerous factors. This interview inspired me to find an infographic that displays the multi-faceted reasons for the “pay gap.”  Some may find the following infographic, which was first published in 2016, to be provocative but it’s one of the better ones I could find. It certainly gives you plenty to chew on.

Via TopManagementDegrees.com

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My Review & Passages from Steve Siebold’s “How Rich People Think”

Recently, I finished How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold and wish to share its high points. In doing so, I’ll share what this book meant to me as well as passages I enjoyed. By the way, it’s not challenging to read at all, which means it’s quite accessible to young people who can benefit from thinking about money and financial independence.

In a review, I wrote:

Siebold delightfully summarizes every preemptive money-shaming, crab mentality-inspired verbal exhortation (e.g., “Money is evil!”, “Nobody should be a millionaire!”) ever uttered by those with an unhealthy, inappropriate interest in what another’s attitude about, or relationship with, money might be. This has been especially problematic in today’s preachy, politically charged times. If there were one value that’s long overdue for a comeback in modern U.S. culture, it’s the value of minding one’s own business. But oh well. I’ve sifted every person who imposed the slightest money shame or crab mentality-inspired drivel out of my life. I appreciate this book for providing a look back at these folks and describing the basic psychological underpinnings behind this insanity.

Siebold’s observations about society: Read more of this post

15 Networking Tips for the Introverted [Infographic]

Submitted by Drew Page at Siege Media

Edited by Lynn Patra

Attending a networking event as an introvert can be a very stressful experience. If you find yourself relegated to the corner and in a constant cycle of small talk that leaves you feeling physically exhausted, you are probably not looking forward to your next event. Here are some actionable steps that can be taken to enhance your networking experiences.

The first step in mastering the networking game as an introvert is to mentally prepare. Building a memory bank of questions and talking points is a great way to set yourself up for success. Taking time to research the potential guest list is another great idea.  Who knows, you might already know someone who is planning to go. Read more of this post

This Year, Spam Followers, & Future Posts

Yes, I’m still here and I plan to do something different on this blog this year. I began this blog focusing on the matter of telework (otherwise referred to as “remote work” or “virtual work”) as it was an exciting concept I wanted to promote. Since then, I’ve learned about obstacles to adoption and the fact that some large organizations that initially embraced it decided to call their remote workers back onsite.

So what do I think telework’s prospects are now? Well, I don’t think society will see more experimentation and, possibly, more widespread adoption until telepresence technology (enabling a more realistic simulation of face-to-face interactions) becomes more available at a lower cost. This type of technology includes holographic video conferencing as demonstrated by Cisco:

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The Top Management Models That Are Changing How Business Operates [Infographic]

Submitted by Quinn Cooley, Media Manager at at Circa Interactive

Edited by Lynn Patra

North American business leaders have their fingers on the pulse of what it takes to flourish in a constantly changing society. No, it isn’t cutting costs. It is learning how to adapt to change.

The management issue businesses face

While 75% of executives believe that their future success is dependent on their ability to adapt, less than half of them have tried change management programs. And, of the people that have tried to integrate change management programs into their business, only 54% of them feel as though their efforts have been successful.

Clearly, there is a discrepancy between what prevailing wisdom says must be done, and what is actually getting done.

The issue with implementing effective change

Surprisingly, most executives agree that an overhaul on corporate culture is necessary in order for change to effectively occur. While the vast majority of executives agree that it is necessary to consider a company’s culture in order to make effective change, 76% also acknowledge that this was not accomplished in their own change management efforts. Read more of this post

Fintech and Banks: How Can the Banking Industry Respond to the Threat of Disruption?

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Alex Graham, Finance Expert for Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

Fintech 1.0 needs fintech 2.0 to arrive.
How have banks reacted to fintech?
There are four areas in which the financial industry can focus to improve their response to fintech.
What will the bank of the future be?

Banks Can Play the Fintech Game Too

Fintech, shortened from financial technology, is assumed to be a modern movement. Yet the use of technology to assist financial services is by no means a new phenomenon. Financial services is an industry that introduced credit cards in the 1950s, internet banking in the 1990s and, since the turn of the millennium, contactless payment technology. Yet, fintech’s place in the public conscience has really taken off in the past three years:

Chart 1: Google Trends "Interest over Time" Results for the Search String "Fintech"

The takeoff of this term has come from startups—actors not within the inner circle of financial services, taking a more prominent role within the ecosystem. Three core trends have led to this movement emerging: Read more of this post

Transition from Military to Civilian Life [Infographic]

The following content, provided by Circa Interactive, was approved by me. The integration of military personnel into the civilian workforce is an important matter and so I share this in recognition of the United States’ Air Force’s birthday, today, September 18th, 2017.

***

Today is the United States’ Air Force Birthday. This day is meant for celebrating this branch of military and the brave work they do for our country, but it is also a prime opportunity to take a look at what needs to be done to help these soldiers make a successful transition from active military to civilian life.

 

The need to ease that transition is as relevant as ever today — in 2015, there were approximately 1.46 million active U.S. military personnel. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, up to 27 percent of veterans experience considerable difficulties when returning to the workforce. The proportion is much higher for veterans who served in the military in the ten years following the 9/11 attacks. So what can be done to make a transition from active military to civilian life successful?

 

What Skills Do Veterans Bring Back into Civilian Life?

Veterans entering the workforce, return with many skills from their training and experience. These skills include: Read more of this post

When Political Proselytization and Multiculturalism Collide in Workplaces (and Elsewhere) & Related Thoughts – Part 2

Part 2 of 3: Online Etiquette & a Reminder, Multiculturalism’s Downside, and a Preview of Part 3

THIS (the messy enormity of this series) is one reason I hesitate to share my political views. More importantly though, there are professional risks. Potential backlash for unpopular views is why one shouldn’t incessantly try to elicit peoples’ opinions online, chase and put others on the spot, and put them at risk if they’re disinclined to volunteer information. Sure, they can avoid you but, the worst case scenario is, you’ll look like a jerk and make some enemies. As for why I’m sharing some views, I’m trying to prevent others from “barking up the wrong tree” because, per Part 1, there are movements and company cultures I’m incompatible with. That said, I’m content with obscurity. I’m not seeking to become a political thought leader or fame in general, so opponents can take heart that I won’t flood this blog with political posts.

Unfortunately, I’ve encountered a subset of older liberal folks (while taking notice of older liberals who don’t do this but, whenever this happens, it’s curiously never someone of any other political persuasion and this is not due to a lack of knowing older folks of other political inclinations) who try to get me to espouse or live up to their values and, in doing so, (1.) mistakenly assume I’m inclined to think as they do and (2.) are unaware that people my age have more to lose (than they do) as we’re in the midst of raising children or caring for aging parents and especially dependent on having work. Yes, it’s human to make mistakes.

More troubling, however, is that they care more about promoting their ideology and adding another warm body to their movement than they care about you, the individual, and whether you want to join their movement or not. These folks should also beware, if they aren’t already, that the consequences of publicizing political opinions are potentially harsher than before the Internet age.

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How to Write Great Job Descriptions: 15 Science-Backed Tips [Infographic]

With my attention focused on job hunting, wouldn’t it be nice for job descriptions to always succinctly communicate necessary information and be easy on the eyes in general? A long time ago, I had acquired experience writing job descriptions through an internship at a Human Resources consulting organization, so I know a guide like this one is quite handy for those who’re tasked with this. The following infographic provides 15 tips on writing an effective job description.

Originally published by Jennifer Gladstone at Employment Background Investigations Read more of this post

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