Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Real men take naps
Monday, April 28, 2008
Madonna sleeps with her BlackBerry
Madonna sleeps with her BlackBerry, as does husband Guy Ritchie, she has revealed. The pop superstar made the unusual confession in a new interview, claiming there is nothing 'unromantic' about their dual habit. Speaking as she prepares to release new album 'Hard Candy', Madonna said having the device close by allows her to start work at any moment. 'We lie right next to each other with our BlackBerrys under our pillows. It's not unromantic. It's practical.' 'I'm sure loads of couples have their BlackBerrys in bed with them', she explained to Elle magazine. 'I have to sleep with my BlackBerry because I often wake up in the middle of the night and remember that I've forgotten something, so I jump up and make notes.'
Confession: I keep a notepad by my bed to write down thoughts that occur to me at night -- I guess I'm still in the dark ages. Another confession: I'm considering a BlackBerry.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Are our kids inheriting our stress?
The article said college kids are so stressed out from everyday worries they are having trouble eating, sleeping and studying. Four in 10 students say they endure stress often and one in five say they feel it all or most of the time. Darker still, one in six have friends who have discussed suicide and one in 10 have considered it themselves.
I just started making a point to spend at least ten minutes a day doing something fun for myself ---reading a magazine article, walking around the block, doing a crossword puzzle. Sometimes, I include my kids in the activity, to show them how I unwind. But I wonder which message is stronger. Do you kids are feeling stressed too early in life? Are we doing a good enough job of teaching our children how to cope with stress? Are we doing a good enough job of learning how to deal with our own stress?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Highlights of the Work/Life Balance Conference
But I wanted to share some highlights. Paralympic medalist Bonnie St. John told us an inspirating story about falling down on the slope during a run for the gold medal. With the world looking on, she got up and finished the race. She finished third and won a bronze medal. The gold went to a woman who also had fallen. The difference: the gold medalist had gotten up faster. Her message: Everyone falls, winners are the ones who get up the fastest.
Naomi Judd shared a powerful message, too. She's had a hard life as a single mother at a very young age. She says change is inevitable. It's how you react that makes a difference. She defines change this way: Choose Having A New Growth Experience. Now that's a working mother I admire!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Blackberrys may spur overtime lawsuits
Monday, April 21, 2008
The Ultimate Day of Work-Life Balance
Singer Naomi Judd is the keynote speaker. Other speakers are Pernille Spiers-Lopez, president of IKEA North America; Janet Bray Attwood, author of The Passion Test and co-founder of online magazine Healthy Wealthy n Wise; and Bonnie St. John, the first African American to win Olympic medals in ski racing. I will be moderating a panel of female business leaders, who have climbed the ladder and learned a lot on the way up. I know they will have some good advice to share.
Last year's conference was great and gave some strong messages to walk away with. I'm sure this year's will be even better. Register online at www.balancemagazine.com.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Lucky Dan goes on a sabbatical
Why now? "Because sports stinks down here right now,'' Le Batard says. Le Batard, 39, called his work/life balance lopsided. "Too much of my identity was tied into my work. I have been working too much, too long. I want more time with family and girlfriend.''
Le Batard says he allowed his ESPN contract to expire April 1, but plans to keep his radio show on 790 The Ticket because it's "3 1/2 hours of laughter a day.'' While on leave, he plans on traveling to China and Spain and hanging out in Miami with his parents, brother and girlfriend of a year. He may even look into writing a book.
While many dream of sabbaticals, few can pull it off financially. LeBatard says 20 years of being single, with low expenses, allowed him to sock away enough to live comfortably for a year.
He plans to return to The Miami Herald in a year, "refreshed and invigorated.'' The paper has guaranteed him his job when he returns and he hopes to write an occasional column, much like previous sabbatical taker Miami humor writer Dave Barry.
Sports editor Jorge Rojas says Dan's sabbatical is good for the paper, too. (It saves money on his salary for a year. ) Rojas is envious. He wishes he could afford to take a year off -- and have his job guaranteed when he returns. As Rojas points out, "most of us can't do that for a year." Fess up, are you envious, too?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Great tips for a job search or career change
Monday, April 14, 2008
Women law firm leaders still sparse, why?
I have watched law firms become much more flexible with their female lawyers. I see them making more female partners. Yet, the article says only small percentage of women are at the pinnacle of law firms across the country, and some recent departures do not bode well for the advancement of women in the profession. What wouldn't a woman want the most power position at her place of work?
Apparently, managing a multipartner law firm is a job few lawyers want, regardless of gender. "The pool of lawyers who want to run a law firm is relatively small, but the pool of women lawyers eager to take on the tasks is even smaller, said Valerie Ford Jacob, co-managing partner of 684-attorney Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in New York.
Here's what makes chair of a law firm unappealing, Jacob says: Extensive travel to far-flung offices, the constant demands of business development and, in some cases, the need to maintain a practice with key clients while dealing with managerial issues.
But the article goes on to give all kinds of other explanations for turnover at the top: A male partner asserted that women don't want to be chairs because those in the job perform a housekeeping function within law firms — something women are not keen to do. A female partner suggested fewer women are in the right leadership roles to ascend to the top --either because of balance issues or law firm politics.
I suspect there are a combination of reasons. But I encourage the women who want the top job to speak up and say they want it, get the word out that they would do the job whatever it takes and lobby for it. It's what the men do. Am I naive in thinking that's all it would take?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
A Working Dad's Big Decision
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Layoffs, buyouts, bad morale
Yesterday, a large group of my colleagues, the most seasoned reporters at my paper, were offered buyouts. In their eyes, it was an emotional slap in the face. I likely would have been among them had I not gone part time years ago. Today, those who have stopped by to chat with grim face and sad tales, tell me they can't afford to take the offer. They all need to keep work in their work/life balance. And so, we all wait for the next move by our employer. In the meantime, the uncertainty about the newspaper industry, the future for family breadwinners and the career paths of workers who have been in this profession for decades weighs heavy on us all.
Part of me wants to retreat to my home, to hide from the disenchantment permeating my workplace. But is that fair? These are the co-workers who help me find the right word for a column, ask me about my vacation, share coffee cream and swap tales about our children's milestones. So, here I am. At my desk. A sounding board. A cheerleader for the hopefully good times ahead. Someone who knows that live is not all about work, but knows how important it is when your job is your passion, too.
Often, my colleagues and I complain about too much work. But today, it's the alternative that scares us more.
Monday, April 07, 2008
The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom
Here's the pitch for the series: This new series offers those women a chance to answer “what if” when it gives a full-time mom the chance to secretly live the life she gave up to raise her family. During this season, viewers will meet women like Adrian, a mother of three who dreams of making it big in the fashion industry; Kathryn, who met her husband in culinary school and now wants to see if she can handle the heat of a professional kitchen; and Jeannie who wonders if being a police officer – like her husband – will be as rewarding as raising her four children.
This is the link to the trailer for the show: <http://www.bark-bark.com/tlca_009/approvalfinals/TLCAslsm_FINAL.mov
I haven't watched the show, yet. I like the premise, but here's what I hope the series tackles:
- Conflicts that arise when a child's class play, field trip, award ceremony arises on the same day of an important work meeting, business trip or project deadline.
- Conflicts that arise when the dreaded call comes from a school nurse to come pick your sick child up pronto. (This could include negotiations with spouse over who has more flexibility that day or would most risk losing their job)
- Office politics that make you ask yourself whether the aggravation is worth the income.
- Decisions about child care coverage for school holidays and summer vacation and/or manager reaction when you bring your child with you to work.
Those are a few that come to mind off the top of my head. If you've seen the show, let me hear from you. I promise to weigh in again after I watch it. Do you feel a half-hour series can do justice to the life of a working mom?