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


Water Cooler

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

News and Views

During a tough week at work, most people do an odd thing: They take the worst care of themselves exactly when they must be at their best. Brookline, MA-based nutritionist Nancy Clark recommends treating yourself optimally during deadline crunches so that your performance doesn't suffer. Clark, who wrote Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, also designs nutrition programs for business executives. Read more . . .,17863,588688-1,00.html

Did someone else get the promotion you deserved? While promotions can depend on a lot of variables, experts say there is a critical difference between what managers and employees say influences promotions: employees say it takes the right credentials and mentor; managers say it's leadership skills and a strong work ethic. Surprised? You're not alone. So stop whining, and start developing your leadership skills. For tips on getting a head start on being your own best advocate in the workplace and a good footing in building your leadership skills from the ground up, read Baker's Dozen at

Is your career meeting your needs? It can if you combine both economic- and self- knowledge with creative spirit and drive to become a "career activist"-exactly the kind of person Mentor Me is all about. "Becoming an activist is the key to your career success," author Barbara Moses writes in an article that includes an online quiz to help you determine your "activist quotient." Read more . . .


Finally-virtual networking. Enterprise has launched an online resource for networking, information, advice, business directories, and local business news affecting businesswomen in their communities. In 41 cities nationwide, "bizwomen" sites are a virtual meeting place for business women around the country. Learn more at

How about an organizing tool to help you mentor your own career by helping you track accomplishments and organize your advancement plans? Less expensive than creating the kit yourself, this kit includes an attractive cover and spine for use in a clear-view binder, plus a table of contents page and 10 pre-indexed tabs. The kit complements the book Mentor Me: A Guide to Being Your Own Best Advocate in the Workplace, which shows you how to mentor yourself by analyzing the skills mentors exhibit and then learning how to apply these skills to yourself. Check it out:

For current and aspiring managers: How do you define management excellence? Your boss describes it as the ability to deliver tangible, measurable, consistent results, says Harvard Business School. The school's new offering, The Results-Driven Manager Series, is a five-volume set of concise strategies and tools for helping you improve your ability to deliver results. Editorial comment: Though I haven't reviewed the series in detail, it seems like a nice complement to Mentor Me.

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 Todd Crittenden, who took a chance on himself, and got others to take a chance on him, too.

Pursuing the "Impossible" Dream

While I was an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, one of my English professors announced that the department was searching for more students to participate as interns in the editorial, design, and publication fields-as long as they met the academic requirements.

I had a less than perfect academic record, and I knew that I would not qualify for one of the positions. But I went to the internship director anyway and begged her to consider me for one of the positions. I wanted more than book learning; I wanted to get out of the classroom and into the real world. I wanted to do work that was related to my major.

I could see the hesitation on her face. I told her how I had struggled academically the first couple of years of college and that I was trying to get back on the right track in order to finish my degree and land a decent job. She agreed to ask two of my teachers if they would recommend me for the position. They did, and I got the internship.

Deciding to go after that internship, which was for a publications assistant in the local Chamber of Commerce, benefited me greatly. I learned how to sell my character, integrity, and attitude to a complete stranger. I learned how business operates and how it functions in the community. And now I'm able to apply the design and layout skills I learned there to my current career.

Most of all it taught me to be more aggressive in going after something I needed or wanted, rather than just saying, "Oh well, I don't have the qualifications to do this."

-Todd Crittenden, Director Communications and Publications, National Business Education Association, Reston, VA

Coming Soon

Workshops on Self-Mentoring

National Business Education Association 2004 Annual Convention. April 8, 2004: Time TBD. Contact: 703.860.8300;

Book Signings

Computer Learning Centers Partnership, May 5, 2004: 3 pm. Contact: Glynda Mayo Hall, 703 324-5237;

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