Posts Tagged ‘Work’

posted by | on Article, Blog | Comments Off on Waste Time The Right Way

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Wasting Time on the Way to a Great Career

Everyone knows that there is a lot of time wasting going on in any and every workplace in New York. In fact there was a study done in 2014 by that found 89% of all people in New York are wasting some amount of time every day at work. Surprisingly, the 26-39 year olds and the most successful in their careers were the biggest offenders.

Other information that came out of this study was that these 26-39 year olds were at the top of their game. They were moving up in their career and they were the go-getters in the firm.  They were also the ones who took a lot of breaks. They didn’t work more hours than their coworkers who were not having the same level of success.

They actually admitted to taking a 17 minute break every hour they worked. So in a 9 hour day with an hour lunch break, these folks are on break for 213 minutes out of a possible 540 minutes. These up and comers, these successful workers waste almost half the time they are at work.

This sounds shocking and is, in fact, shocking. However these are the successful people. These are the stars of today and the future. How can this be? It has a lot to do with what they are doing with those 213 minutes every day.

How to Waste Your Time Productively

Here are some of the ways these superstars are wasting their time productively – reading blogs, talking to colleagues, taking walks or reading a novel. What we find is that spending time doing these things helps the worker to think more innovatively, to find new ideas, to discover new perspectives. Not only are you getting a break from whatever you have been working on, you get a whole new perspective on things.

  • Surf websites that are not related to your profession gives your brain a break while at the same time giving you a way to spur your own creativity.
  • Spending time with your co-workers – an MIT study showed that in a call center the representatives, when they were allowed to have breaks and/or talk with co-workers between calls, handled more customer calls than those workers who were not allowed that conversation.
  • Reading novels – it has been found that those who read fiction can interact with others better than those who don’t.
  • Meditation – more and more studies are being done on the effects of meditation. These studies are showing that the human brain benefits from the lower stress levels brought about by meditation. Following meditation, there is more innovation and creativity.
  • Daydream- Science is showing almost the same effect for daydreaming as for meditation. Different parts of the brain are in use when you daydream than when you are actively working on a problem. This leads to innovation and creativity.
  • Power Naps – yes these are real and yes they really make a difference. Just 15-20 minutes of actual sleep will refresh your brain cells that produce focus and productivity.


The moral of this story is – WASTE TIME. Just do it in the right ways.

Work After Leave


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Returning to Your Career After an Extended Leave of Absence

For many people in the New York workforce, there is need for a leave of absence for personal reasons. Perhaps you need to take a pregnancy leave or time off after your child is born. Others might need time off to care for an aging or ill family member or to care for their own mental or physical illness or burnout.

This kind of break from one’s career is not easy to do but it has been the legal right of both men and women in the United States since the 1980’s. This right is protected by the Family Medical Leave Act or FMLA as most Human Resources personnel call it.

Under this law we are all entitled to up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave.

“The most common serious health conditions that qualify for FMLA

leave are:

1) conditions requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other

medical care facility;

2) conditions that incapacitate you or your family member (for

example, unable to work or attend school) for more than three

consecutive days and require ongoing medical treatment

(either multiple appointments with a health care provider, or

a single appointment and follow-up care such as prescription


3) chronic conditions that cause occasional periods when you or

your family member are incapacitated and require treatment

by a health care provider at least twice a year; and

4) pregnancy (including prenatal medical appointments,

incapacity due to morning sickness, and medically required

bed rest).” *from The Family and Medical Leave Act

Although this is a great benefit, it can be difficult to come back from it, especially if your leave is extended well beyond 12 weeks and into months or perhaps years beyond the FMLA timelines. Here are some ways to get yourself back into your career or move on to another.

  • Assess where you are now and what you want to do now. Whether you know it or not you are not the same person you were before the leave of absence. You have new perspectives, new skills, and new experiences. You want to evaluate what you want in your career now with personality, aptitude and career choice tests. Be clear before you start looking again.
  • You HAVE learned new skills whether they be soft skills like communication, interpersonal relationships, and management. You have likely learned some new hard skills as well such as budgeting, delegating and supervising. Add these to your resume. Use them in your interviews. This is invaluable experience.
  • Do your homework. Your industry has probably changed in your absence. The overall employment environment in the country has changed and certainly you have changed. Be in touch with all of these changes and what they mean to your career.


Most importantly never make excuses for why you were on leave. Talk about the positives of what you learned on leave that pertains to the job you want. Follow these tips and you should be alright.

posted by | on Article, Blog | Comments Off on Surviving Your Long Commute

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Surviving Your Long Commute

It can get awfully boring. It can be aggravating and tedious. Do you spend it talking? Eating? Raging? Some eight percent of New Yorker’s commute to work is an hour or longer. There are another 600,000 commuters who work full time and drive or ride over one and half an hour to get to the office. Most of these drive almost 55 miles but some in places like Los Angeles can take over an hour and a half to drive less than 25 miles.

So how do you survive the long commute without doing things that are not safe? You certainly don’t want to be distracted on a daily basis or take for granted that you can do anything you want while driving. Remember there are states where it is illegal to text and drive or talk on the phone unless you use Bluetooth and wireless. It is not smart to eat as it is distracting and so is falling asleep due to boredom, and raging is never good.

So what are the safe ways to survive that commute?

  • Get that wireless Bluetooth and call friends and family that you might not have spoken with in a while. Talking with someone can certainly keep you awake but don’t let it distract you. Some people get so caught up in the conversation, they forget to pay attention. Don’t let this be you.
  • Listen to music or books on cd. Make sure you have a hands free way to change a station or a multi-cd changer.
  • If you like sports, listen to sports radio and if you have a hands free phone with programmable speed dial you can take part in the conversation.
  • If your commute is not you driving but rather high speed rail or buses, there are many things you can do to pass the time and still be productive. Of course if you don’t care to be productive and your entire commute is by train or bus, you could sleep. If not you can read the paper, a book or work materials. You can send correspondence both personal and professional. You can make to do lists or shopping lists, or you might just relax and enjoy the people-watching.
  • Learn another language or listen to business presentations. Use the time for listening to self-help – self-improvement programs.
  • Get a rider to commute with you and make sure you enjoy talking with this person as you will be spending an awful lot of time with them. It could be an associate from work that you can talk over projects with.
  • If it is at all possible try to commute with your spouse even if you end up in different directions and have to leave a little early. Want some quiet time with your spouse? This should do it.

These ideas really only scrape the surface of all the things you can do while commuting in New York and still be both safe and legal. Just use your imagination!

posted by | on Article, Blog | Comments Off on The Best Companies to Work For

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Ten of the Best Companies to Work For

Of course all New Yorkers would like to work for the companies that treat their employees the best and that employees consider to be the best places to work. The companies on this list were rated by 24/7 Wall Street – “is a Delaware corporation set up to run a financial news and opinion operation with content delivered over the Internet.”

24/7 Wall Street surveyed employees of companies that were liked and those that were not. Here are some of the best companies to work for.

  1. Linked-In was founded in 2003 and has over 300 million members internationally and 5045 employees. It is the largest professional network in the world that is played out on the internet. So what makes this the best company to work for? To start with the employees here are well paid with the average software engineer at Linked-In earning $145,190 while the national average is $127,800. Other benefits include free food, a good balance between work and play, and great leadership. Linked-In’s CEO is Jeff Weiner one of the most respected and inspiring business leaders in the world.
  2. Facebook, another social media company, follows immediately after Linked-In. Facebook is highly profitable and the best known social media website. Great perks and benefits are one of the advantages of working here. There is basically no hierarchy in the structure of Facebook and the fast paced yet casual work environment is enjoyed by employees.
  3. Eastman Chemical is a global company that offers teamwork, a positive work environment, a good work/life balance and colleagues you can work with. The people who work for Eastman Chemical feel one of the most important perks of working there is the company’s overall safety record and programs. Safety is a core value for Eastman and they publicly reveal their safety record.
  4. Insight Global is a recruiting firm that specializes in IT. They are known for supplying upwards of 20,000 IT specialists every year. Their recruiters are professional, personal, and well compensated.
  5. Bain & Company is a management consulting firm.  Employees love working for the managing director, love the training and professional development they receive and the workplace culture. If there are any negatives it was because of the tough schedule of travel and the long hours.
  6. Riverbed Technologies has employees raving about the culture of the company and the balance they promote between work and life.  Employees are also proud of the quality of products they produce.
  7. Google is infamous for its culture, its parties, and its amenities for its workers. Located in Mountain View, California, there are 25 different cafeterias, fleets of bikes and scooters and seven fitness centers.  Employees get health insurance, retirement benefits, legal aid, travel insurance and education reimbursement.
  8. Southwest Airlines has employees who love the company culture and benefits including free flights, matching 401ks, profit sharing and successfully innovating the business of commercial air flight.
  9. McKinsey & Company has some of the most skilled problem solvers in the business. Employees have nothing but good things to say about the company which offers wide ranging benefits, talented coworkers and interesting work.
  10.  The Boston Consulting Group comes in tenth as employees feel their talents are valued and they use those talents well. They treat their employees well, and they value each other.

When looking for a job in New York, these are some of the ten best employers to work for.