Women At Work – The Do’s And Don’t’s

Opportunities for women in the workplace Wwii_woman_workerhave never been greater. Often, if a woman doesn’t succeed, it’s not because a cabal of men has erected a glass ceiling; it’s because she’s shot herself in the foot. This article’s topmost career musts can ensure you don’t.

Being Who You Are

Today, some women subvert who they are to prove that they can do anything a man can. For example, some women endure physics and calculus for an engineering major and a construction-site engineering career, not because they love engineering, but mainly because society or their parents encouraged them to pursue a nontraditional career. Not surprisingly, women engineers leave the field at twice the rate of men.
Other women do the opposite: hiding their competence for fear of appearing too strong. That, of course, devastates their career.
Be who you are. For example, if you do love and are talented in engineering, go for it, certainly. In fields with fewer than 50 percent women, you often find special efforts made to court you. But being courted isn’t worthwhile if a frog (a misfitting career) is doing the courting. Choose a career that’s right for you.
Similarly, after they’re on the job, some women, in an attempt to show how tough they are, try to act like stereotypical men – all bottom-line. And they’d never dare to do anything as stereotypically female as baking cakes and cookies for the staff. Be yourself. If you’re all business, that’s fine, but if you’re more comfortable blending a bit of traditional femininity into your workplace, that may be even better. If, for example, you enjoy baking cookies, bring them on in – food is love.

Being Self-Effacing

Conventional wisdom is that women should never be self-effacing. It reinforces unfair stereotypes that women are weak. But if you’re already viewed as competent, occasional self-effacement is a plus, especially when done in a lighthearted way.
For example, a career woman can make fun of the fact that she can’t sing, is terrible in sports, and even is technologically challenged. Remember, more than anything, people want to feel good about themselves. If you’re in an even moderately powerful position, it helps to admit things you can’t do. When you’re self-effacing, the people who work for you may feel better about themselves and therefore be more open to what you have to say.
But never be self-effacing in a job interview. There, you haven’t yet established your credibility.

Negotiating for Fair Pay

Most employers want to get every employee, Moneyman or woman, to work for as little as possible. Employers are more successful at getting women to work for less not mainly because of sexism but because, on average, women are more willing to accept an employer’s weak offer and, after being hired, are less likely to ask for a raise.
If you negotiate and do it well, in most cases, you should be able to get equal pay for truly equal work. A specific research with a 10-year data collection indicates that when men earn more, it’s usually because more men are willing to do the things that earn higher pay: move all over the country to God-forsaken places to get promotions, acquire difficult-to-acquire skills such as computational biology, work more than 50 hours a week, take additional training at night and on weekends, or accept greater risk – for example, a 100-percent commission-based job. Indeed, the research concludes that for many popular careers, for truly the same work, women earn at least as much as men. Too many women feel grateful or lucky when offered a big job and just accept a weak offer. Learn how to negotiate.

Competing Healthily

Competing with women (and men) is fine – competition can fuel some people to achieve their best. But some women seem to compete with other women on trivial matters – notably, their appearance. Out of jealousy, some women sabotage an attractive female co-worker: by withholding key business information, spreading false rumors, taking credit for her work, and so on. Please, if you want to be taken seriously at work, don’t let petty stuff intrude on your work-life. It’s hard to expect people at work to respect you if you’re playing those games.

Balancing Work and Family

For societal and perhaps biological Family Portraitreasons, the average woman wants to be more involved in family matters than the average man does. Women are generally more eager to have children, and they want to be more involved in raising them and in caring for aging parents.
If that’s you, make a conscious choice. Do you want to be superwoman: deeply involved in family while holding a demanding job in which the norm is a 60-hour workweek? Or do you want to opt for a more balanced life? Choosing the latter is fine, but accept that you probably won’t be selected for that job in which a 60-hour workweek is the norm if you’re not willing to work that many hours.
There is a way to have it all: hire help. If you’re in or even aspiring to a big job, hiring domestic and child-care help can be a terrific investment. For little cost, if you search a bit, you can find someone, perhaps a college student, to pick up your kids, drive them to after-school activities, pick up the groceries and dry cleaning, and start dinner.
Research shows that what counts in parenting is quality time. Don’t feel guilty if you’re working a very full-time job. Just be sure that you do provide that quality time daily.
But to be honest, superwomen rarely exist outside of comic books. Many women find that opting for balance is wise. Especially if you have children, you may want to aim for a 20-to-40-hour-a-week job, leaving time not only for family responsibilities, but also for fun.
A note on maternity leave: After having their babies, many women return to work, but their heart is mainly with their baby. They’re also exhausted — having an infant is draining — which additionally diminishes their drive to work. You don’t want to ruin your reputation at work, so consider coming back to work part-time for the first few months, and when you’re at work, be sure you really work. Otherwise, you’ll convey the impression that you’re permanently going to give your job short shrift. If you’re working part-time, be sure your hours are clearly posted, including the hours you work from home. And stick to your schedule. That way, people know you’re really working.

Dressing Wisely

Wear what you want – if you’re not Poor dressingworrying about your choice impeding your career. For some people, making a fashion statement is so central to their identity that they’re willing to let their career suffer. But if you’re not willing to pay that price, forget about what’s in the fashion magazines. You don’t want to look like you’re spending all your time and money trying to keep up with the fashion fads. Doing that conveys a shallow image.
In some arty or avant-garde workplaces, anything goes, but in general, dressing for success means dressing in quality, timeless designs – look at what TV news anchors wear. You want to be thought of as a professional, not a runway model. If you enjoy making bold fashion statements or wearing a nose ring, save them for after work. One more tip: A scantily clad or tattooed employee doesn’t look professional.
Even if your workplace encourages casual dress, casual doesn’t mean sloppy. Leave those flip-flops for the beach. You’re safest with high-quality, middle-of-the-road choices.

Dating in the Workplace without Disaster

Most advice on workplace dating is equally applicable to men and women but there is the one workplace dating issue that applies more often to women than to men: compartmentalization.
Men, on average, are more likely than women to compartmentalize their relationship issues. For example, Bill Clinton had one of the world’s most embarrassing affairs (remember the cigar?) trumpeted all over the media for months. Yet, it seemed to have no impact on his ability to do his job.
Most women are less able to do that. If you dated one of your co-workers, would you feel compelled to treat your sweetie differently in the workplace? If you broke up, would everyone in the office know it, even without your telling them? Think about how you’d feel if you broke up and had to see him daily. If you don’t think you’d handle it well, don’t date anyone at work.
If you think you can compartmentalize your relationship, the workplace may be the best place to meet a romantic partner. After all, at a bar or club, for example, you’re judging mainly on looks (and that judgment is likely affected by alcohol). At work, you get to see your prospect in action, day in and day out. Is he kind? Competent? Successful? Chasing every skirt in the office?
Your call.

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When Is Dating A Big No-No?

The purpose of this article is to let you know when not to begin dating. The following is a list of the topmost minefields that are terribly dangerous when you’re thinking about dating. Anybody in his or her right mind has enough sense to steer clear of minefields.

You’ve Been Right-Sized or Down-Sized or…You Get The Point

Freud said that humans need two things: work and love. The connection between feeling appreciated and valued for how we behave is obvious, but in the long run, Beautiful_Homefinding a job is usually a lot easier than finding love, so don’t decide, “Well, because I’ve just lost my job, wow, more time to date!” or “I can lose myself in someone’s arms and let him/her) keep me happy (or pay the bills or divert me).”
Focus on first things first: Use your time and energy to stabilize yourself and focus on getting a new job. Although dating and getting a job do have a surprisingly lot in common, money issues aside, losing a job is a confidence buster, and dating works best when both of you are stable, confident and happy.

You’ve Lost The Place Called Home

The number of people who are living together because when they first met, one had just been evicted or lost housing for some other reason is surprising. Need is not a good long-term basis for a relationship. The decision to live with another person is a serious one, should not be entered into lightly, and should not be based solely on the need to find accommodation somewhere.
Get an apartment or a roommate and forget about dating until you’ve got a home base, which gives you one of the basics of life: shelter, from which you can go forth and deal with the world. Without it, you’re going to feel more stressed than healthy and useful. Period.

You’ve Lost a Dear Buddy

Friendship is a totally different deal than dating (although the best long-term dating situations are based on liking as well as being turned on by someone), but any kind of loss is a bad rationale for dating. If your friend moved away, join a club to stay busy and meet new people. See whether an acquaintance can be upgraded to a friend, or write to your friend (you can even go online), but don’t try to substitute oranges in a recipe that calls for prime rib. Different issues, and the whole thing won’t taste very good.

You’ve Lost One of Your Folks

One of the predictable traumas of adult life is the death of a parent. Losing a parent means becoming an orphan, and no matter how old you are when it happens, it throws you in a loop for a while.
Parents are especially important in the dating landscape because they’re the first and maybe even most important people from whom we learn to be male or female. We learn by watching how Mom and Dad act, and we practice by imitating what they do. Their loss can really touch on some basic issues about being male or female, and all of us need to work those issues out before taking our act on the road.
Anytime you’re off balance is a time to try to regain that balance without relying on a stranger as a crutch. Depending so heavily on someone else you don’t know is just too dangerous when you’re so fragile.

You’ve Lost Your Dog . . .

. . . or cat or parakeet or fish or boa constrictor. Dog's_LoveIn psychology, animals are called love objects because we give them characteristics that make it easy to love them, cuddle them and depend on them. But dealing with a pet is different from dealing with a person (no matter how demanding a pet, it can’t talk, nag, praise, or argue with you or complain to your mom about you), and it’s important not to confuse the two, even if some people really like being tickled behind their ears and purr if you scratch their bellies. Dates are not animals, and animals are not dates. Don’t even go there.

You’re Lost

If you feel your life is chaotic and you don’t know who you are or what you want, there is an enormous temptation to hide. One of the best ways to hide is to throw yourself into someone else’s life. The problem with this tactic is that sooner or later, you must get your own life back in order. Putting it off just means that the problems you’re hiding from are stale (they didn’t go away, they just got older), and you now have the additional problem of trying to pry yourself out of the life of someone who thought you were there because you liked him/her.
Each individual must steer by his/her own internal compass. While you may be able to temporarily borrow someone else’s, their compass may be leading them in a direction different from the one that makes sense to you.

You’re Married

Listen up. Married people don’t date. If you wantHindu_marriage_ceremony to date, don’t marry. If you’re already married, then either work on your marriage or get out. Complicating a marriage that is obviously not doing well with another soul is mean, nasty, manipulative, and pointless.
One of the traditional ways married couples deal with the need to flirt, be appreciated by the opposite sex, and have a bit of social variety is to hang out with other couples, but sexual exclusivity is part of the marriage contract. If you’re married, give this article to a single friend. If you’re single and are even thinking about getting involved with someone who is married, ask yourself why you would want to waste your time with a cheat. Married daters can be exceptionally charming because they’re not available, but they’re not very nice; they can use charm as a way of seducing the unwary. Don’t buy it. When in doubt, ask – and then run for your life.

You’re Still Involved

Dating is about learning who you are and what you want. But dates aren’t trapezes: You don’t hang onto one until another comes along. In the early phase of dating, before the two of you decide on exclusivity, it’s perfectly legitimate to see more than one person as long as you don’t lie about it. But involvement implies something quite different from casual dating. Even if you feel that you’re in the last phase of dating someone you’ve been seeing for a while, you’re still better served to chill and get out of one situation before you launch into another.
Having sex with more than one person you’re dating gets confusing. It’s also often something that’s difficult about which to be honest. Do you have to tell? Not necessarily, but don’t lie and don’t imply exclusivity where none exists. You have the right to do what makes sense to you, but lying demeans you as well as the person to whom you lie. Lying says that the listener is stupid and you’re bad. Why bother? If you’re found out, trust gets trashed, even if you didn’t say you were being monogamous. There are also the nasty little complications like pregnancy, disease, betrayal, and so on.

You’re Separated

Separated is just another word for married. A separation is like a hole in the donut. It’s defined by what’s around it, and a marriage is what’s around a separation. Walking away from a long-term commitment is very hard, but using someone else to pry you out emotionally simply doesn’t work, and it’s not really very fair or nice to use another person in that way. I’m sure you’re much too nice to even think about starting anything on such slippery footing.

You’ve Been Divorced Less Than a Year

The two of you were separated, and you’ve been emotionally out of there for ages. It takes time to get over the trauma, the love, the hate, the guilt, the tears, the sleepless nights, the ex-in-laws, the parents, the best man . . . the list goes on and on. The best way to be whole and make sure you don’t repeat the whole thing all over again is to wait one whole calendar year after the divorce becomes final before you begin dating again.
One calendar year, first and most importantly, gives you the time to know that you can live on your own. You can use the time to figure out how what seemed so right could go so wrong, so that you don’t have to feel guilty about it anymore – or feel terrified that it could happen again. A year without dating doesn’t mean you have to be on house arrest: You can have same-sex friends, work, work out, take courses, take walks, take seminars, and so on. This is time you can invest in your future. When the year is up, you’ll have your confidence and your equilibrium back, and you can be your best self.

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