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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting a job after you retire

When you retire, it becomes possible to lose your work/life balance -- too much life and not enough work. But how do you go about finding a job after age 65? Here's a concept I wish I had thought of:
A press release I received calls a job board that provides contract, flexible and full time positions for retirees. You can search positions based on location, skill set, and salary desired. You apply by completing a Member Profile. This Member Profile allows hiring companies to match the candidate to current and future positions.
All services are completely free of charge to the candidates, according to the release.
I can't vouch for this job board. It just seemed intriguing and much needed.

Tiger Woods becomes a dad, big deal?

What's all the fuss about Tiger Woods becoming a dad? Is there a valid argument that his fatherhood will affect his golf game? Just the announcement of his wife's pregnancy led to a disgusting number of media stories about how this baby will affect his focus on golf. The bigger question is whether fatherhood affects careers, not whether Tiger can still play golf well.

Sentinel column columnist Dave Hyde takes on the issue. He calls it new-age nonsense. His reasoning: Woods is a man. If Woods were a woman, Hyde says, the pregnancy would have affected his game already, like female golfers such as Nancy Lopez, who withdrew from a tournament with nausea. Or he probably would have had to pre-plan his life and career years in advance, deciding how long to play, when to start a family and what matters most, as Annika Sorenstam clearly has done. "If you want to start a family, there's a time when you just can't play," she has said.
As long as the baby is healthy, nothing changes drastically for most male athletes. Ask Nicklaus. He won all 18 of his majors after the birth of his eldest son, Jackie. Dan Marino is a father of four and a very involved parent. Look at all he accomplished. All this talk around Tiger and childbirth is ridiculous. As Hyde points out: He'll find what all new fathers do. Lots of things change in life. The golf swing isn't one of them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What workers care about

While it is no surprise that employees care about their pay and benefits, a new 2007 survey by SHRM shows some real gender differences in what else they care about.
Male employees listed health care/medical benefits as the top aspect most important to their job satisfaction, while female employees (particularly those who work for small businesses and those older than 56) identified feeling safe in the work environment as the most important factor.
In 2006, compensation/pay topped the list for both males and females.
Despite all the complaining I hear, most people are satisfied with their jobs (8 out of 10). Another interesting finding: HR professionals typically place a higher priority than workers do on relational aspects of a job, such as how an employee works with his or her immediate supervisor. That surprises me. I have always found people who like their boss, like their job.
Society of Human Resource Management has conducted the survey since 2002 to reveal satisfaction in the workplace from the perspectives of both employees and HR professionals. To see the full 2007 report, click here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Got Guilt?

Most of us, at some point in our career, feel guilty about how much time we are working and not with our spouse, kids, girlfriend, etc.

Wayne Hochwarter, a FSU business professor, has researched work induced guilt and learned that of 700 people, half felt guilty about how much time they were working. That guilt, he says, causes health problems such as backaches and headaches and work problems such as inability to concentrate or problem solve and less job satisfaction. You can bet it causes home problems too such as strained relationships. Hochwarter says it is no wonder so many people take anti-anxiety pills.

I interviewed Hochwarter yesterday and he passed along some great tips for managing guilt. His advice: change what it means to have it all, make a commitment to just hang out with your family or spouse, turn off your cell phone when you walk in your front door.

You can read Hochwarter's resume online and some of the additional research he has conducted. You can read more guilt management suggestions in my Miami Herald column today, click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Separating hype from reality

Are we to believe lawyers have no work/life balance? The National Law Journal posed this question to lawyers across the country: How do you separate hype from reality as a summer associate?"
Adam Anderson of Beus Gilbert in Scottsdale, Ariz. advises: "Enjoy it. You are about to exchange free time, any interest you had in a personal life and your soul for a lot of money."
He suggests summer associates cut through the hype and walk around the offices during the off-hours and weekends. "Find out how many of those associates are lying about the lifestyle aspect of the firm."
Tracey Batt of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts suggests pouncing on a junior associate who is wearing a rumpled version of the previous day's outfit and ask the tough questions: "How many all-nighters have you pulled? How many concert tickets have you had to sell at the last minute?"
Says Batt: "You will receive honest answers whether you really wanted them or not."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Do CEOs make lousy dads?

Do CEOs make lousy dads (and moms)?
The author of a new book on CEO dads , Tom Stern, thinks so, and tells Fortune's Anne Fisher how to become a better one. One step: Don't text clients from Disneyland!
On power, Stern says: "At work, everything is quantifiable. But with your family, you can't measure and control things. And then there's pure ego, the need for power and recognition. Work is the place to get those things, so work becomes all-important."

Do you think high-powered executives make lousy parents?

The Perfect Memory Storm

If someone tells me something I want to remember, I MUST write it down immediately. My memory is horrible! But I'm feeling much better about that today because I have discovered, I'm not alone in my memory challenges.
Here's what is happening:
  • Business information is doubling every three years, and at some companies, it doubles every year.
  • Most of us have an increasing desire to learn and know more.
  • Add to these trends, the increasing complexity of our machines, like PDAs, computers, and cell phones. That increasing complexity means that we have to remember more, just to operate these "indispensable" devices.
  • We experience more distractions than ever before with more info coming at us faster, inhibiting our ability to concentrate.

According to the experts at The Herman Group, this non-stop exposure hinders our ability to retain the facts and information that we crave. We tax our memories beyond their capabilities. This overtaxing is not only a problem for the Baby Boomers, but people of all ages. According to the Natural Marketing Institute, close to Philadelphia, "nearly three-quarters of consumers are currently using supplements, foods, or beverages to prevent memory problems". To read more, view the entire report by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The top 50 woman-led busineses

Florida's woman-led business have a big impact on the state's economy. the largest 50 employ more than 41,000 people. But even as these women build large businesses, they report they are satisfied with their work/life balance.
Here are some thoughts from women whose companies are on the list:
Christen Madsen, president of Intermedia in Fort Lauderdale: I started my business 15 years ago with the expectation that other women would support me and send work my way. That has happened a certain amount, but not as much as I had thought. I think that's turning around now.''
Norka Munilla, president of Thunder Electrical Contractors in Miami: "When you start a business there are tremendous hours you need to spend in that business. There is constant juggling between responsibilities with family and the office. One of them suffers. In my case, my children are grown now. My husband does complain that I need to spend more time with him."
Sandi Finn, president of Cross Country Home Services in Fort Lauderdale: "Balance is something I struggle with but I really like what I do. It is not a 9 to 5, the brick wall is gone. It has become a much fuzzier line in both directions (work and home)."
To read the survey results of Florida's Woman-led businesses 2007, go to

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cell phones and kids

In my column last week for the Miami Herald, I wrote about my 11-year-old daughter's pleas for a cell phone of her own. I realize some parents -- especially working parents -- rely on cell phones as a way to keep track of their child while they are working. But for now, my daughter isn't really anywhere that I can't reach her by land line. Perhaps in the fall, when she goes to middle school, I'll rethink my position, especially after hearing how useful it is to some working parents.

I was inundated with e-mails from parents, teachers and kids who have opinions on whether or not kids should have cell phones and the appropriate age to get them. As you would imagine, teachers hate them (at any age) . Fathers hate them (one dad said his daughter's cell phone bill exceeds $300 a month). Moms love them because they can track their kids down anywhere. (when they are turned on or answered).

The letters from kids were hilarious. Let's just put it this way: my daughter has plenty of kids in South Florida who think she's ready for a mobile phone and want to persuade me on the subject. So far, she's still on hold. I just don't think she and my wallet are ready.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Great Day for America's Families

The Afterschool Alliance has declared today a great day for America's families. The House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee voted to increase funding for afterschool programs setting the stage for 125,000 more children to have access to enriching activities after the school day.

Currently, more than 14 million kindergarten through 12th‑graders take care of themselves after the school day ends, most because they have no real alternative.
" We will work with our partners across the country to see that the funding levels passed today become law,'' said Jodi Grant, executive director of Afterschool Alliance.

Adds Grant: "After years of freezes and small cuts, the Subcommittee’s action today is a welcome and long overdue step in the right direction of reaching our goal to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. Our nation’s children, families and communities will benefit when this vision is realized.”
To read more, go to

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Attracting a 20-something worker

Watch out: baby-boomers' kids are marching into the workplace, and this crop of twentysomethings really is different
An article in Fortune online is a must read. Here are the highlights: Generation Y: Its members are different in many respects...but it might be their effect on the workplace that makes them truly noteworthy They're ambitious, they're demanding and they question everything, so if there isn't a good reason for that long commute or late night, don't expect them to do it. When it comes to loyalty, the companies they work for are last on their list - behind their families, their friends, their communities, their co-workers and, of course, themselves.
I LOVE THIS QUOTE: "This is the most high-maintenance workforce in the history of the world," says Bruce Tulgan, the founder of leading generational-research firm RainmakerThinking. "The good news is they're also going to be the most high-performing workforce in the history of the world.''
How do businesses attract a GenY?
Gen Yers still respond most to money. To get noticed by Gen Yers, a company also has to have what they call a "vision." While Gen Yers will work a 60-hour week if they have to - and might even do so happily if they're paid enough to make the most of their precious downtime - they don't want that to be a way of life.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Summer casual, not by choice

I am at work today trying to look professional with my beach shoes on, specks of sand and all. This was not an intentional statement of summer casual. In trying to adapt to my new summer routine, getting the kids to various camps and to work on time, I put my beach shoes on to walk the dog and forgot to change. My only consolation today is a conversation I had with another working mom a few years ago.
I remember interviewing the general counsel of IBM/Latin America some years ago, a mother of three. She told me a story about hurting her leg over the weekend, getting caught up in getting her kids to school Monday morning, then limping onto a flight for work. When she finally sat down on the plane, she realized it wasn't her leg that was the problem. Beneath her pin-striped slacks, she had one high-heel and one flat. In this balancing act of work and family, mistakes happen to the best of us, right?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tips from a super-organized mom

Looking for creative ways to keep work and family under control over the summer months?
One South Florida mom puts super organization skills to work to keep the not-so-lazy days of summer from overwhelming her life. Stephanie Norman, a Weston mother of three, finds her work-life in overdrive just as school lets out for the summer. Norman's company, City Theatre, produces the Summer Shorts Festival in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the largest festival of short plays in the nation.
Norman choreographs her family life too, by creating an Excel spread-sheet with each child's activities for the entire summer: Samantha, 11, has a week of dance camp. Rebecca, 8, will spend a week at grandma's house. Matthew, 5, will go to a week at his school camp.
Every Monday, Norman e-mails the schedule to both sets of grandparents and her ex-husband, Jeff, all who help out with drop offs, pick ups and evening care.

Norman also has a room she calls the home office. Each child has a desk, computer, locker and bulletin board. On the bulletin board are each child's activities for the week. She makes sure to schedule some fun time with each one.

"I go into it knowing things will come up," she says. "But I know it's important not to forget to take some quality time to chill out with my kids."

Friday, June 01, 2007

No to paternity leave?

Who knew? More than half of dads say they would not take paternity leave if it was offered to them. Here are their reasons why, according to a survey by Adecco.
o “I can’t afford it” (46%)
o “I would fear that it would harm my career” (31%)
o “My co-workers and/or clients depend on me too much for me to be away for an extended period of time” (28%)
o “I’m too busy at work to be away for an extended period of time” (28%)

Yet, Adecco's survey found that 70 percent of Dads think that being a father also makes them a better employee.

"Fathers probably face more pressure to stay on the job than mothers do when a baby comes along,” says Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer, Adecco USA. “Now it’s the employers’ turn to do a better job of implementing benefits and policies that allow for Dads to achieve sustainable work-life balance.”