Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

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

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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.

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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.

Read more of this post

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

A Quick Status Update & Business Resource Recommendations

Months ago I mentioned that I’d spend this past summer giving a new business venture a go and would report back on how this panned out. It wasn’t meant to be. However, this snag is another chance to learn and problem solve in order to transition to the next opportunity. Despite people telling me that I seem to have everything together, I understand what it’s like to struggle. For now, I’m focused on returning to the workforce, but at least fall season is the ideal time to search I hear.

However, between time spent inside my own head and working on the business, my networking efforts fell to the wayside, and this doesn’t set me up well for finding a job. Personal referrals are the way to go nowadays, what with hiring managers having to sift through piles of resumes. This is, by the way, a familiar problem that some introverts have. Well, I decided to act in accordance to the saying about sometimes having to spend money to make money (and no, I don’t think money is the root of all evil but I’ll return to this thought with my “politics in the workplace, etc.” series next week).

Read more of this post

When Political Proselytization and Multiculturalism Collide in Workplaces (and Elsewhere) & Related Thoughts – Part 1

Part 1 of 3

It’s been awhile since I posted “An OBVIOUS warning to political ideologues,” but I’ve decided to explain some of my views and experiences. My timing is terrible given the degenerating political discourse in the U.S., and I might be crazy to tarnish my clean “no politics” online image, but here we go. First, a story explaining my family’s culture of origin (Thai-Chinese):

One day I brought food from a new Thai restaurant I discovered near Sacramento, California for my mom to try. I’m not great at distinguishing the regional differences in Thai cuisine, but the food tasted “off” to my mom. She asked if the restaurant owner, whom I chatted with a few times by now, advertised which region of Thailand she was from. I responded, “No, but I can ask her next time.”

“No! Don’t!,” my mom yelled in alarm.

“Why not?,” I asked.

“That’s personal information,” my mom explained, “In Thai culture, you don’t ask this question of people you just met.” Further conversation with my mom revealed that asking where people lived and worked (though I already knew where the restaurant owner worked in this case) is off limits. Politics is also off limits. These are topics that are currently allowable in casual conversation for the average American (though past social norms dictated that politics and religion were off limits). A problem crops up when the average American doesn’t notice, or tries to change, the preferences of those who’re more culturally East Asian. Read more of this post

An OBVIOUS warning to political ideologues [Stickied Post]

UPDATE Sept 30, 2017: There will be an extra blog administrator to help me run a tight ship in response to OFF-TOPIC blog comments (particularly of the political nature).

My readership is politically diverse and blog topics largely appeal to people no matter their location on the political spectrum. As such, this blog has been a change of pace for those taking a break from the yelling and screaming that is found everywhere else on the Internet.

You won’t find me taking snarky digs and getting in-your-face politically on other bloggers’ sites as I recognize another person’s right to a different opinion. I recognize another person’s personal boundaries better than some (evidently). So, I ask my readers to demonstrate the same respect I’ve demonstrated on their blogs. And since this is MY professional blog (as I’m the one paying for it the last time I checked), I’ve made my stance clear on attempts to bug me incessantly and the reasons why this blog is largely apolitical: Read more of this post

How the Skills Gap Affects the Global Economy [Infographic]

Thus far, this blog has focused on issues as they pertain to the United States. As a departure, this infographic compares the existing skills gap in various nations. I’m sharing this as a natural lead-in to an upcoming post on work-related trends and challenges in other countries (with a focus on Asia). The future post will consider the interaction of government policies’ impact on the local economy and demographic trends, and how this impacts innovation and entrepreneurship. I find that examining circumstances in other parts of the world can benefit one’s thinking about issues within one’s own country.
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The following information was published in 2012 (which is still considered recent according to the world of social science research – the last time I checked anyway). Let me know your thoughts and if there’s information you would add to or change here.

Read more of this post

What a Financially Comfortable, Successful, Laid-Back Professional Looks Like

Over the years I’ve noticed personality psychology related posts are visited most frequently. So, I’ll expand on a popular, though cryptic, post on particular facets of the Big Five’s Conscientiousness scale and success in various professional contexts. Whereas that post explains in abstract terms, this one provides a concrete (and personal) example. With the lazy days of summer ahead, I’ll discuss that which seems impossible, or at least improbable, for those who live life in the slow lane – laid-back, Type B people with high achievements and financial comfort.

It stands to reason, as popular culture tells us, that hard-driving folks enjoy more fruit from their labor than their counterparts do. It might be hard to believe financial comfort is achievable for the latter if I didn’t have a source of inspiration, a family member that I’m nearly a carbon copy of personality-wise.

Revisiting Posts on General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord’s Wisdom & Lessons from Gaming Read more of this post

A Personal Note & Sober View of Online Business Headaches: Reputation Management & Cybersecurity

The benefits of online businesses have always been clear to me (e.g., the freedom and flexibility, the broad reach to potential faraway customers, etc.). However, recently I noted some massive issues online business owners face – reputation management and cybersecurity.

Internet mobs can destroy someone’s livelihood for years, and an unpopular or misconstrued Tweet (along with bad luck perhaps) can spark their wrath. Such missteps are related to innumerable topics – too many to list. So, I’ll visit the issue of bringing up politics in professional communications for business owners (but much applies to job seekers and employees alike) as I’ve previously discussed it from another angle.

Reputation management: Politics

Business owners must be wary of expressing political views in ways that don’t mesh with their customer base. I don’t know how often cases like this happen but one of my survey respondents wrote that merely unveiling your political affiliation can alienate customers: Read more of this post

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