New and Transitioning Professionals | Business Teachers | Career Counselors/Human Resource Professionals


Water Cooler

Information and insight about your career and the workplace at large
February 2004

News and Views

When women don’t negotiate for themselves, their careers can suffer—and so can their organizations, according to the report “First You Have to Ask,” by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Babcock and Laschever recommend assuming that everything about your working life is negotiable, volunteering for projects that interest you, and actively pursuing your professional goals. The report is available for purchase (product N0401A, $4 electronic download) from

Workers often overlook subtleties of communication that can trip them up on everything from sales calls to meetings with the boss, says Loretta Malandro, author of Say It Right the First Time. Here’s her advice on how to avoid 5 common word traps:

Don’t wait too long to reinvent your career—and don’t look at your past to reinvent your future. Instead, use a “test and learn” approach that says act first, think later.


Negotiating on your own behalf sometimes hinges on how you portray your value to your employer, especially during your performance review. Make your next performance review pay off for you in terms of ratings and recompense. Want a free checklist of “20 Things to Do Before, During, and After Your Performance Review”? E-mail me ( and put “Send 20 Things” in the header.

In career transition? Check out these templates for résumés, cover letters, etc., downloadable from
(Contributed by Beth Hand, leadership mentor extraordinaire,

Making It Work for You

Readers, this is your space—for tips on how you've solved a problem on the job, "gotten 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 and watch for your byline in a future issue.

This month’s contribution comes from Karen Krzmarzick, who used self-mentoring techniques to move her career from secretary to Assistant Director of Education. Karen now has a masters’ degree in business and is certified in association executive management.

Want to Be Remembered? Try Giving Yourself a New Name

Several years ago I attended a professional development workshop on networking. During the workshop, we participated in an ice-breaking exercise that I will never forget. Each of us was asked to introduce ourselves to another attendee by coming up with a snappy word or phrase that rhymed with or gave a hint about our name. For example, “Hi, my name is Sue Rose, like the baseball player, Pete.” The thought was that the catchy phrase would help the individual remember your name. The problem? My name. What rhymes with Krzmarzick? Most people can’t even pronounce it (kirz·mar'·zik).

After I left that workshop, I decided that I needed something for people to remember me so I created a personal email address that colleagues would remember: People didn’t have to remember Karen Krzmarzick; instead they only had to remember association girl. I began using my call sign on all the career-related email correspondence and listservs. I got (and still get) e-mails from my peers saying they like the name. And, it’s not unusual for me to attend an association event and hear, “So you’re association girl.” Last year I even wrote “association girl” on my nametag at the annual ASAE event. During this time I developed a website ( to promote my accomplishments and to provide some tidbits about my background and links to articles I have written. My website has had more than 3,000 visitors in the three years it has been in existence.
--Karen Krzmarzick, CAE, ASISonline, Alexandria, VA;

Coming Soon

Workshops on Self-Mentoring

National Credit Union, Alexandria, VA. March 9, 2004, and March 16, 2004: 11 am – 1pm. Contact: Joanne Lozar Glenn, 703.721.7088;
The Women’s Center, Vienna, VA. March 23, 2004: 7 – 9 pm. Contact: Jane Beddoe, 703.281.4928;
National Business Education Association 2004 Annual Convention. April 8, 2004: Time TBD. Contact: 703.860.8300;

Book Signings

Meet the Authors, International Women’s Writing Guild, New York, NY. October 17, 2004. Contact: Hannelore Hahn, 212.737.7536;