Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Networking

My answer to a Quora question: Is it acceptable to be apolitical on LinkedIn?

In this answer, I addressed the question’s original poster (hereafter referred to as “OP”) who stated, “I have been on LinkedIn for years. I no longer feel that I belong there anymore because I came there to network for jobs rather than to discuss politics or religion… I have been struggling to find work, but LinkedIn no longer appears to be an option.” I described the general state of LinkedIn, from my own personal experience, at Is it acceptable to be apolitical on LinkedIn? by Lynn Patra. An excerpt of my answer follows: Read more of this post

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My Quora Answer: Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics…? by Lynn Patra

In my previous post, I mentioned preferring to live and work at my current location (Redding, California) and being turned off at the prospect of living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reason for my preference is, having already sampled life in more metropolitan, urban regions of California firsthand (through work and school), I am sick and tired of the lack of self control, the deafening, pushy political activism, and the presumption that many have, while trying to force others (uninvited) to talk about politics, that everyone else shares the same opinions and values that you do.

As I state in my Quora answer below, this type of behavior, exemplified by denizens of those regions, extends to the online world, including sites where people are supposed to behave more professionally, like LinkedIn. So, in a way, there’s no getting away from the verbal diarrhea. However, I don’t want this to become a part of the work culture I join. The original Quora question I’m answering here is “Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics, and therefore, they have a more divided country than when culture was more of a focus or even more mundane aspects of life?Read more of this post

Back home after the Carr Fire

Well, I am home and, as it turned out, our home is fine. As I indicated in my previous post, I very much want to be a part of the Redding, California community and contribute to disaster relief and resettlement efforts. Having said that, I’ve been engaged in volunteer work.

I’m not sure how negatively a disaster of this scale will impact employment prospects here, however I’m still very much interested in finding employment in the Redding, California area (so that I can stay here). Yet, I know this sounds crazy to some people but no, I don’t want to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area… and I can’t seem to say that often enough for all the incredulous people out there but I really don’t. My next post will make it more apparent why.

Here, I’ll leave my readers with images I’ve taken after the Carr Fire hit my area, along with a synopsis of the damage sustained, quoting from my Quora blog entry: Read more of this post

Special Feature: How to Find the Right Internship — and Make It Work for You

For those finishing up college and planning what to do next, this might be the article for you! In fact, if I had this knowledge way back when I was a college graduate, my life might’ve played out differently. So, I’m sharing this with you because this article, How to Find the Right Internship – and Make It Work for You, written by Clicktime.com administration is that invaluable.

You need experience to get a good job, but you need a job to get good experience. What’s a college student to do?

This is the dilemma of undergrads everywhere. Fortunately, there’s a solution: Internships.

According to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 95 percent of employers want to hire people with experience. This includes new college grads.

Since college students most likely do not have much in the way of real-world experience to offer an employer, an internship might be the best way to obtain that experience. So, think carefully before you take that summer position waiting tables, and consider an internship in the field you want to enter instead. (Especially one that pays a stipend!)

Once you’ve landed an internship, focus on getting it right. Success here can mean a reference, recommendation letter, or even a permanent job.

Read more at How to Find the Right Internship – and Make It Work for You

Special Feature: 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

Mentor-mentee relationships can come with interpersonal problems that result from individuals involved not knowing what they’re doing. I’ve found that it isn’t all that uncommon for people to approach mentoring for the wrong reasons and in the wrong manner (e.g., power, control, and manipulation issues). Given what can and does go wrong, this informative article by Michelle Kiss and submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com sets the tone for what mentors should strive for. In 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor, Michelle Kiss writes:

You’re overseeing three huge projects. You’ve got five calls today, then two meetings. Your boss wants that budget by the end of the week, and it’s in bad shape (shh!). Your kid gets out of school early, you haven’t planned dinner, and, oh yeah, you’re still trying to fit in some kind of exercise. So … you’re telling me that I’m also supposed to fit in some kind of mentoring?!

Um … yeah?

We know you’re busy. But if you think about it for a minute, mentoring turns out to be a great way to help your company, give back to your employees, and — in case those reasons aren’t enough — boost your own career.

What other activity can give you valuable leadership experience, new perspectives on your company and workplace, and the motivation to be aware of what’s happening in different departments — all at once? Not only that, but being a great leader to someone helps you identify the next generation of leaders more easily.

Read more at 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

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:

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

Political Discussions in Work Settings – My Pilot Study: Thoughts on Design & Results

I’ve returned with a couple of surprise posts for today. I’ve been tinkering with a survey I designed, and it turns out I’m insane enough to fund my own pilot study. Not cheap! I took a chance on myself though, to see if I’d asked interesting new questions as I can’t find my main question of interest, or related discussions, represented anywhere on the Internet. These questions relate to what OTHER social interaction patterns might coincide with increasing political polarization and Balkanization that’s reportedly been happening.

Political discussions in work settings can pose problems because participants are obligated to continue interacting unless someone is transferred to another position, finds another job, just quits, or is laid off. It’s more difficult to walk away from others than it is in the purely social realm. Thus, people are generally expected to exercise more restraint over potentially touchy subjects and avoid disruptive, emotional outbursts that impact others. Read more of this post

What You Need to Know About Psychological Manipulation [Infographic]

This post accompanies my previous post on manipulators. One particular piece of information that I find valuable here is a guideline for distinguishing social influence from manipulation. In my view, what qualifies as manipulation is an attempt to restrict another’s sense of free will. Furthermore, as I am a “no means no” kind of person, my interpretation of “[social influence] does not threaten anyone’s health or well-being” extends to influencers’ being able to accept “no” for an answer. Continuing to persist violates the time and psychological space of the one who refused. Finally, to clarify, the “emotional hot buttons” section lists characteristics of individuals who are easier targets for manipulators. I welcome your thoughts on the information presented here. Read more of this post

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