The average American spends 52 minutes commuting every workday. That’s nearly 4 and a half hours a week, or 225 hours a year. To put it in perspective, if you work for 45 years and have an average commute, you’ll spend 421 days (day and night) in transit from your home to your workplace. 421 days! That’s a lot of life.
Now, I’m no stranger to commutes. I’ve had very long ones (over 2 hours each way) and very short ones (15 steps from under the covers to my home office). The modes of transport I’ve used are plenty; I’ve gotten to work by car, by bus, by bike, by train, by tram, by foot, by ferry and even (briefly and awkwardly) by skateboard. Read the rest of this entry »
Once upon a time, a business failure was considered disgraceful, something to be avoided at all costs.
But in today’s world of innovation and disruption, failure has been transformed into an accolade rather than an embarrassment. Leading a failed business venture is thought to build character and bolster resumes.
Indeed, a number of management thinkers now believe that if you don’t fail, it’s not because you’re flawless but because you’re not trying hard enough. That’s the argument at the core of The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price by Laurence Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey.
Except for “firing” and “layoff,” no six-letter word generates quite as much anxiety around the old water cooler as “change.”
We thrive on routine, whether it’s stopping at the same coffee shop every morning or following a specific protocol for filing reports at work. The mere mention of “change” typically invokes feelings of vulnerability, insecurity and anxiousness. Though we understand on a rational level that change is constant and unavoidable, fear of the unknown can be upsetting. How to implement change while minimizing turmoil has long been a major challenge for executives and managers.
The company you want to work for is profitable. It dominates its competitors. Customers love its products. There’s just one problem: The organization’s culture is a disaster. Its employees hate their jobs, and that’s how you’ll feel if you go to work there. If you don’t learn about the firm’s culture before accepting a position, you could be in for a nasty surprise.
We had the opportunity to talk to organizational consultant Sheila L. Margolis about the top things job seekers should consider before accepting a position and what potential employers should look for when hiring new talent. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest post by Sheila L. Margolis
Companies screen applicants for knowledge, skills and abilities. They want applicants who are a fit with the job. But, more and more, organizations now add another layer of questioning to evaluate how a candidate fits their company’s culture.
Candidates who are selected on the basis of culture fit—in addition to job fit— contribute faster, perform better and stay longer with the company. When hiring professionals neglect culture fit, the company and the employee share the burden. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest Post by Sheila L. Margolis
You get offered a job where you can do the work you love. It’s a fit with your strengths, interests and abilities. Isn’t this the ideal job?
Job fit is key to having a workplace where you will thrive. But job fit alone may not give you the joy and fulfillment you seek. You must also consider the culture of the company where you will work. Is that culture also a fit? Read the rest of this entry »
You’ve heard the conventional wisdom about playing video games. Too much screen time leads to poor health and stunted social lives. Video games even have emerged as an apparent culprit in the US epidemic of male underemployment – working-age men would rather play Call of Duty or FIFA than punch a time clock.
Even before she wrote The Gig Economy, Diane Mulcahy embraced a freelance career path. She took consulting gigs for private equity and venture capital firms, began teaching a course at Babson College and wrote for the Harvard Business Review and other publications.
Mulcahy spoke to getAbstract about how the world of work is changing. Read the rest of this entry »
Meetings? Get rid of them. Performance reviews? Twaddle. Manager pep talks aiming at building enthusiasm? Don’t waste your time. In his classic tome Managing Performing Living, management guru Fredmund Malik rips into all manner of standard corporate practices.
By gleefully poking holes in the conventional wisdom, Malik sounds like he’s impersonating the office crank who can’t stop griping about incompetent bosses all day long. Unlike that chronic complainer, though, Malik offers common-sense alternatives. Read the rest of this entry »
Depending upon your research and whom you believe is credible, you’ll find a variety of reasons and theories why small businesses startups succeed or fail. Reliable statistics indicate that roughly 80% of new ventures survive the first year and around 50% are still in business after five years. The issue is how to increase your odds considering there are no guarantees in business – regardless of how well you’ve planned. Read the rest of this entry »
As an editor for getAbstract, I knew instantly which abstract I wanted to share with readers when our resident blogger asked me for a recommendation list: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. Now I know the colorful language in this article may put some people off, but if you can look beyond the swearing and (hysterical) references to “bags of burritos” you’ll be rewarded with an elegant and inspiring message: Finding the courage to be forthright in the face of adversity makes life worth living. Manson inspires you to not sweat the little things and, instead, spend your energy on contributing to the world. His vision is one that would benefit many people in the sometimes-overwhelming times we live in.
Educators will tell you it’s a scary world out there. Technology, with its double-edged sword, expands knowledge while simultaneously establishing attention deficit as the norm. So many apps, chats and sites — and so little time. Even in the merciful absence of electronics, getting restless, young minds to stay on task in school is an enormous challenge – particularly when teachers insist on employing archaic tools such as textbooks, pencils and notepaper.
A mishandled crisis can ring the death knell for a brand or individual in today’s hyperconnected world. Scandal has become the fuel that helps feed the information bonfire. United Airlines learned this tough lesson the hard way. On April 9, passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 3411 from Chicago, Illinois, to Louisville, Kentucky, filmed an altercation whereby security staff forcibly removed a United passenger from the aircraft. The footage went viral within hours. Although it doesn’t capture the passenger’s reaction to the initial request or the sequence of events leading up to the forced evacuation, the clip depicts the inhumane treatment of a paid-up customer with a valid ticket – an act that ignited widespread public outrage on social media. Read the rest of this entry »
Silicon Valley is a model of economic prosperity and a beacon of technological progress. But has the once-idealistic tech industry lost its way?
Critic Douglas Rushkoff thinks so. He remembers fondly when the Internet was shaping up as a tool to promote economic opportunity, free expression and equitably distributed wealth. Alas, he argues in Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, the utopian dream has given way to a dystopian nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »
As work becomes ever more flexible, the line between people’s professional and private lives is at times so thin that sometimes one area spills over into the other. Work may cut into your family time if you check your inbox at home or take work calls.