Information and insight
about your career and the workplace at large
News and Views
Want to move from mentoring yourself
Check out these websites on
mentoring, favorites of Philadelphia Inquirier
columnist Reid Kanaley. On the list: Big Brothers Big
Sisters of America, Mentor Gap, and more. (Registration
may be required.)
You can nominate an entrepreneur or a business
owner for a "Best Boss" award in the Winning
Workplaces/Fortune Small Business competition
honoring innovative leaders of small to mid-size
businesses. Deadline: January 31.
Determined to find your dream job this year? The
market's getting friendlier, say recent "CEO confidence"
PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 75%
of the nation's 364 fastest-growing companies plan to
add workers within the next year. Note: these new
positions require workers with skills, education, and
Now available: an index listing the 62 leading-edge
briefs that appeared in WaterCooler in 2004.
on conquering fear of bragging, tips for networking (and
networking mistakes), reinventing your career, Fast
Company's salary calculator, 15-minute summaries of
business books, blogs in business, defining management
excellence, and more. Get your free copy by emailing
Just let me know whether you'd like MS Word or PDF
Avoid "Death by PowerPoint"
and keep your
audience awake and interested in your presentations.
Turn your most painful management duty into a
powerful motivational tool,
by checking out Sharon
Armstrong's book Stress-Free Performance
Appraisals. Armstrong couples a thoughtful
overview of the performance appraisal process with
practical, realistic, and enlightened strategies that
protect the interests of all three parties involved: the
evaluator, the employee, and the company. Hint: even
if, and perhaps especially if, you are not a manager,
check out this book. You'll learn a lot, including when
it's appropriate to forget the appraisal process
inside this book
NEW: WaterCooler Professional—The Miniseries
In 2005, "Making It Work for You" evolves to "WC
Professional," a miniseries of action steps to being your
own mentor. Follow this 12-month plan and by
January of 2006, you'll have taken a big step towards
being your own best advocate in the workplace.
January: Declare 2005
the year of being your
Envision what you'd like to be
about you and your career at the end of 2005. Mentally
set three goals—remember to quantify each
make that vision a reality. Now, make them come alive:
First, find a piece of paper or
cardboard (8.5 x 11 or
larger) and some magazines or newspapers.
Next, find pictures, words, images in
the newspaper or
magazine that represent, in visual form, the goals you'd
like to achieve.
Then paste each image on the paper, and write its
related goal next to or underneath it. Example: Under a
picture of a trophy or star, you may write the
goal "Construct a kudos file and list my
accomplishments weekly (including any
complimentary letters or emails I receive), so that I can
use it for my performance review in June."
Post the paper in a prominent place: on your desktop
under a clear blotter, or on your bulletin board, or on
the wall next to where you hang your coat.
Finally, on your calendar or PDA, list the steps you
must take to accomplish each goal, and schedule each
step. For the goal listed above, you would note that
every Friday you will add to your kudos file.
Good luck, and feel free to share what you're up to in
send to Joanne@mentorme.info.
PS: I have done this activity, and I can guarantee that
WaterCooler (WC) Personal: A Word about Goals
The best advice anyone ever
gave me about goals
was to write them down. It seems the simple act
of writing helps you internalize these intentions, and
you are more likely to do the work that will lead to
I'd add two pieces of advice based on my own
experience. First, quantify the goals and give them
due dates. So if your goal is to finally create a
portfolio of your best work, for example, revise the goal
to "Create a portfolio of 5 to 10 pieces of my best work
by the end of the year."
Second, put the goals in a place where you're likely
to see them every day. I guarantee that seeing
them will spur you to believing in them and achieving
And may I add a third piece of advice, just in from Mary
Foley's Bodaciously! newsletter? Make it fun.
That's it—now on to achieving your goals,
known as dreams with deadlines. And Happy
PS: To achieve multiple goals with fewer steps, consult
Appendix 1C in Mentor Me, or see Breathing
Space by Jeff Davidson.
Update on New Subscriptions and the Heifer International Challenge
Ten new readers joined the WaterCooler list
between December 6 and January 6, so as
promised, I am donating $20 to Heifer International.
Thanks for encouraging this effort, and check out
(HI) if you're looking for a good way to make a
difference through contributing to sustainable
microenterprise in needy communities.
This $20 donation will purchase a flock of
elegant solution to improving a family's crops and their
diet," says the organization. HI notes that at six
months, chicks can lay up to 200 eggs a
year—reliable protein for kids who otherwise eat
mostly starches. Extra eggs can be sold to pay for
school, clothes, and medicine. Chicks also benefit
farming: they provide fertilizer as well as bug and weed
Workshops and Book Signings
40Plus of Greater
February 7, 9:45 am. Contact: Kathy
Women in Technology Advocacy Group, February, time and
Contact: Julie Thompson, 703.449.0893;