Joyce’s Blog

Here are just a few of the emails we’ve received from folks  asking for help when dealing with layoffs: I’ve just been laid off. What should I do? Take a deep breath. Go home. Make a plan. Take a deep breath so you don’t say something you’ll regret later. It’s a small world. The people you work with today can be the ones you’ll work with tomorrow, so be advised, speak with care. And, speakRead More
An African American woman had a wake up call she’d like to forget but clearly remembers: Helen was an attorney in the legal department of a Fortune 100 company. She valued her work, her relationships with colleagues and the professional conduct of her company. A year or so ago, the company’s human resources department organized a minority recruitment task force; its purpose to attract people of color to the corporation. They invited Helen to join.Read More
What are three things you should know before heading out to an interview? Know about the company.  Know why you want to interview them.  Know why they ought to interview you. Let’s get down to basics. Do your homework before interviewing. If you’re short on time, check the prospective employer’s web site. If you have the luxury of more time and the company’s track record is good enough to merit space in business journals, goRead More
Q: “I’ve recently been released from prison and want to get back into my profession. I’ve been trying to re-hone my skills but given my felony record am I just spinning my wheels? What do I say when I’m asked about the lapse in my employment A:You’re not spinning your wheels, you will find employment, and you will have some real challenges ahead. Let’s start with the first hurdles to overcome, and go from there:Read More
If the following comments sound familiar, they may be representative of what many people hear or fear, in today’s workplace. If you want a job here, you’ll do more with less. You’ll demonstrate and communicate your worth to and for the organization every day you’re on our payroll. You’ll retain and re-train qualified personnel at no cost to the company. There are more reasons than space to describe why organizations pare their payrolls and tightenRead More
Thanks for your calls and emails requesting information about the following topics related to job interviews. What are the best questions to ask on an interview? The ones that net the information you need to make a good decision. They’re the probing, open-ended questions that ask how, what, where, when, and why? They find what you ought to know and not always what you want to hear. They’re tough to ask and challenging to answer:Read More
Do you love public speaking as much as public stoning? Do you enjoy giving a presentation as much as getting a root canal? Do you shut down when you’re asked questions, and avoid asking questions when you need information? If so, you’re in some scared but good company. Let’s face it. You don’t have to speak up if you don’t want to. You don’t have to ask for what you believe is rightfully yours. JustRead More
A reader asks: Q: I enjoy my work but have no tolerance for petty people and this place is filled with them. They constantly complain about each other. What makes it worse is that the department head seems to buy into whatever is being said so now she’s part of the problem. I try to stay out of it but it’s inescapable. I know I need to find a job somewhere else but why shouldRead More
Q: How does a retailer, operating a very legitimate business, protect his/her company from misguided customers who are very clearly inappropriate in their demands and yet threaten all types of exposure and legal measures to get their way? Seems to me that this is a form of extortion… the customer isn’t always right! A: I asked several local retailers their take on the subject and received a variety of responses from them. Here’s a sampling:Read More
Frustrated folks are stuck at the crossroads of  Many Possibilities. They’re torn between their parent’s dreams and their own fantasies.The strongest sentiment they express is, “what if I choose the wrong path? I don’t want to commit myself to the wrong future.” With that fear firmly in place, they remain stuck. They prefer the angst of indecision to the requisite of choice. What they are missing is a realization that reasonable people, with benefit ofRead More
Three employees in the workplace. Each one tries our patience and challenges our notions of fair play: The first is a free radical existing in a conservative, hierarchical institution. He’s as difficult as he is brilliant, appealing, and maddening. He has a small but adoring claque of supporters who follow his lead and go wherever he takes them. He thrives on their adoration and holds them close; his inner circle, his chosen few. All wouldRead More
The slow to no-growth economy and high unemployment rates have kids of all ages returning to their parents’ homes as they transition from college to work or from lost job to new job. Co-authors Joyce Richman and Barbara Demarest have been getting some attention for their guidebook, Getting Your Kid Out of the House and Into a Job, which they wrote to help parents deal with these times of transition in their children’s lives. Steve Continue reading →Read More
What do employees want? It depends on the person you ask. Managers and supervisors want their direct reports to become more responsible and accountable for their work and their behavior. They grow weary of the constant refrain of “you’re doin’ it to me”. Employees complain that they’re not recognized for their hard work. Supervisors come back with a “you call that hard work?” Back and forth it goes, with the subordinate wanting more money, moreRead More
Q: “I like what I do but after three years and living through three downsizings I still don’t feel like I fit in or belong here. My prior experience and the way I carry myself professionally have made me unpopular. Being popular is not my goal but I feel like I’m not able to contribute fully when I feel so isolated. Help! My work life is becoming the pits.” A: This reader describes several concerns atRead More
She said she’s getting out of the business. “Why in the world would you do that? You’re more successful than you’ve ever been. You told me that you love your work and the feeling you have when helping people get what they want. It’s working! Why leave now?” She said that business is booming and she has to drive customers away with a stick. She’s making lots of money and the challenges keep coming.  TheRead More
Q: It is very frustrating and unprofessional to keep someone “hanging” after an interview and not inform them if they have the job or not. People want to work and want to know if they should continue their search. Over the past year I’ve been on at least two dozen interviews and several firms never informed me as to the status of their selection process. What’s your take on this? A. Unless you’ve experienced bothRead More
I’m getting used to calls about workplace stress. What’s gotten my attention lately are all the calls about workplace abuse. American business and industry are known for having more workplace stress, abuse, and violence than our counterparts in other developed nations. The simple explanation is that we are more competitive, entrepreneurial, and bottom line. We seem to like that. Not that we are violent,  but that we are competitive. Stress is the norm. Add to thatRead More
I’ve written posts dedicated to the trials and tribulations of introverted employees who recognize their own potential while realizing that others don’t. I have described described techniques that the more quiet among us can use should they wish to become more visible, viable, and recognized members of the work community. I’ve received some feedback: Many people don’t like “techniques”. They have an aversion to behaving in ways that are contrary to how they see themselves.Read More
(If your name is Dani and this story reads like a story you’ve lived, It’s just a coincidence.) Dani had that All American Girl look, the one the Ivory Soap commercials used to feature; scrubbed, fresh-faced, healthy, outdoor gals who exuded intelligence along with good taste in facial cleansing products. She was having trouble with her career, feeling a little stuck, and not knowing what to do about it. Dani had gone to a collegeRead More
A client  shared this childhood experience with me and described the  impact that it’s had on her life and career. She said I could share it with you. The only thing I’ve changed are the names… “Momma loved to get into her car and drive wide open. Only problem was she’d fall asleep at the wheel. She’d sleep anywhere she’d put herself and she was more apt to put herself at the wheel than anywhereRead More