Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Observations

Special Feature: 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients

The following thoughtful article for business owners covers recognizing the issue of over-servicing clients and steps you can take to address this problem. In 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients, Brenda Barron at Clicktime.com writes:

Over-servicing a client happens on many occasions. More often than not, we’re talking about a longtime client who’s become friendly with your company and occasionally asks for additional tasks to be completed. Other times it can be about keeping a valuable name brand happy and bending over backwards to keep them. Unfortunately, this is a drain on your company’s resources, and it could be forcing you to use far too many labor hours. In fact, several small tasks can turn into a significant amount of time if you’re not careful, and over-servicing costs can easily reach 500K/year.

That’s why it’s important to check to see if your firm is over-servicing any of your clients. After you’ve identified some of the clients with over-servicing problems, you can make the transition easier for your employees. No one wants to tell a friendly client that you can’t complete work for them, and sometimes it’s even harder to raise rates. But in order to keep your costs low, it must be done.

Read more at 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients

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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

A History of Projections About the Future of Work [Infographic]

Now the following infographic is very interesting as it illustrates various projections (both optimistic and pessimistic) about ways in which technological advancement would affect our lives. In doing so, the creators of this infographic argue that many of these have not come to pass. With that said, there are various points that you might agree and disagree with. Personally, I don’t think conceiving of public education as a “protracted imprisonment” is too far off the mark. Ha!

However, take a look at this and let me know what you think! Read more of this post

My answer to a Quora question: How do you handle someone stealing your parking spot?

Recently I was named one of Quora’s Top Writers for 2018. I’m not exactly sure what the standards for this award were as I’ve witnessed other members’ confusion on this matter. However, to commemorate, I’m sharing an answer which enjoyed a surprising degree of popularity.

At first blush, this subject might seem unrelated to this blog’s theme. However, knowing and being able to employ underhanded tricks to oust someone out of your designated residential parking spot may help you arrive to work on time the next day just as this did for me. Enjoy this excerpt from How do you handle someone stealing your parking spot? by Lynn Patra: Read more of this post

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

My answer to a Quora question: How do I prepare my long term plan if I want to become a psychologist, philosopher, writer, motivational speaker, music composer, and audio engineer?

Recently, I received a request to answer the question, “How do I prepare my long term plan if I want to become a psychologist, philosopher, writer, motivational speaker, music composer, and audio engineer?” on Quora. Since I haven’t blogged on the topic of aspiring to professionally “wear many hats,”I thought I’d share my consideration of the issues this brings up as it is generally easier to rise through the ranks by specializing in one area. Here’s my answer: Read more of this post

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:

Read more of this post

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

Read more of this post

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

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