Information and insight
about your career and the workplace at large
Premiere: December 2003/January 2004
News and Views
Women need to stand up for themselves
in order to be counted, writes
Washington Post's Life-at-Work columnist Amy Joyce. Women
especially should brag a little and push each other to stop
making excuses for not being heard—it helps everyone.
With the current uncertain economy,
knowing your worth is more important than ever.
This tool, from Fast Company in partnership with Salary.com,
will help you survey salaries across industries and cities.
Employers today place less value on
employees' dues paying, loyalty, and seniority and place more
value on employees' day-to-day work quality and
productivity, according to a 10-year workplace study conducted
by Rainmaker Thinking, Inc. As a consequence, most individual
employees feel they have no choice but to think and behave
like free agents. http://www.rainmakerthinking.com/backwttw/2003/laborday.htm
For more how-to's on conquering "fear
of bragging" and learning
to toot your own horn, see the free download "For Women
Only" on the Mentor Me website. After all, said Jimmy
Breslin, "If you don't toot your own horn, there ain't
Making It Work for You
Readers, this is your
space—for tips on how you've solved a problem on the
job, "got over" not tooting your own horn, or anything
else related to being your own best advocate in the workplace.
Send your "a-ha's" to email@example.com
and watch for your byline in a future issue.
This month’s contribution comes from Amy Schneider,
who used to work for a printing company and now works for
herself as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.
Career Transition: Making
My Own Break
I started freelancing for my first client
when I was working the night shift in my full-time job at
a printing company. I got home in the morning, went to bed,
and got up in the late afternoon to tackle the freelance work.
And back then I had only one simple project at a time.
After a few months, I decided that I was
eventually going to freelance full-time, so I went to my boss
and laid it out for him: I was pursuing a new career, and
I needed time to build it, but I wasn't ready to quit cold
turkey. I told him that I wanted to start working 32 hours
a week, taking all Sunday nights off (we worked Sun.-Thurs.
nights), and be exempted from all overtime.
I had him between a rock and a hard place
-- I was pretty much the anchor of the night shift skeleton
crew. He could keep me for a while yet, for eight fewer hours
per week, and have some time to plan for replacing me, or
he could lose me right now. I got the deal. Several months
after that I was able to turn in my notice.
And yes, I did have it easy with no
kids, no worry about conducting freelance business on company
time, and so on. It's one of those rare times in my life when
I actually got a break! --Amy J. Schneider, Words That Work!,
Wautoma, WI; firstname.lastname@example.org