Weighing Financial Risk vs. Security in Making Decisions

Have you ever wanted to do something, but then decided it was too risky?  Like make a big change in an area of your life, or pursue a dream you’ve always had?

From time to time, people will tell me “I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but could never do it now with the economy being so bad,” or “I hate my job and really want to find the work I was meant to do, but can’t do it now with all the lay-offs that are happening.”

It is natural and important for us to consider the potential risk or cost of any decision we make, especially the major ones that impact our income, wouldn’t you agree?

But we need to look at the situation accurately, and have the proper perspective, in order to weigh these decisions correctly. And I’ve found that many times, we do not.

Sometimes, the option that we think is the best may actually be the worst. [Read more…]

Finding Happiness at Work

What’s the key to finding happiness at work?  Is it a great boss?  Wonderful perks?  Flexible hours?  Top salary?  Nope!

According to a recent article by Jon Gordon at Guideposts, happiness isn’t determined so much by external forces, but by internal ones. “Happiness is an inside job,” Gordon said.  “Our happiness comes not from the work we do but from how we feel about the work we do.”

I guess this explains why I’ve met lots of people who have seemingly great jobs and get paid lots of money, but are unhappy.  And people who are as happy as could be, but have a job that others would find menial and low-paying.  What about you?

Increase your Happiness at Work

So, if it’s not all about the money, perks and how great our boss is, how can we increase our happiness at work? Gordon offers several tips: [Read more…]

Top 10 Happiest Holiday Retailers

CareerBliss made a list (and checked it twice) of the Top 10 Happiest Holiday Retailers for 2010.  Costco tops the list.

The report is based on almost 100,000 independent company reviews submitted by visitors to CareerBliss.com to evaluate levels of current and past employee happiness in the following categories:  growth opportunity, compensation, benefits, work-life balance, career advancement, senior management, job security, and whether the employee would recommend their company to others.

2010 Ten Happiest Holiday Retail Employers

Retailer Happiness Rating*
Costco 3.84
Nordstrom 3.76
Old Navy 3.48
Best Buy 3.40
Lowe’s Home Improvement 3.35
The Home Depot 3.29
Sam’s Club 3.27
Target 3.27
Victoria’s Secret 3.24
PetSmart 3.17

According to the CareerBliss report, a key driver of employee happiness is compensation, but it is not the only factor that drives job satisfaction levels. [Read more…]

The Rise of the 4.0 Career

Business psychologist Douglas LaBier says a transformation is taking place in the American workplace.  He calls it “The Rise of the 4.0 Career,” where people aren’t just looking for more meaning, balance and success in their life and work, they want their work to make a real difference in their community and world.

In a recent Huffington Post article, LaBier describes the different career mindsets that exist, calling them 1.0, 2.0, 3.0…and now 4.0 careers.  Here are excerpts on each – see if you can identify yourself in one of them:

The 1.0 career describes doing whatever kind of work enables you to survive. It’s what people do when they’re in situations of extreme hardship, political upheaval, or within socioeconomic conditions that limit their opportunity and choices. That probably describes the situation for the masses of people throughout most of history. And of course it exists today, especially among those who have been hardest hit by the current recession. In these situations, your criterion for “success” is being able to earn enough of a living to survive — pay your bills and support your family. The conflicts that people experience within the 1.0 career often include the impact of working conditions, discrimination and limited opportunities for getting onto a career path that can lead to something better. [Read more…]

Best Adoption Friendly Workplaces in 2010

As you’ve probably figured out by now if you’ve been here a while, I’m a fan of “top 10” or “best of” lists, like the Working Mother’s Best Companies to Work For, the Ten Best Employers for Work Life Balance in 2010, etc.  Both of those highlight the best companies that promote a healthy work-life balance for their employees.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has released a list I’d never heard of before: the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in 2010, just in time for National Adoption Awareness Day which is November 20.

This list highlights 100 employers in America that offer the best adoption benefits to their employees.  The rankings are based on the maximum amount of financial aid or reimbursement that is offered, along with the amount of paid time off given to employees when they adopt.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was founded by the late Dave Thomas, who also founded the Wendy’s fast food chain.  Interestingly, and appropriately, Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. tops the list as the most adoption-friendly company in America.

Here’s the list of the Top 10 Adoption-Friendly Companies in America: [Read more…]

How to Make More Money in Your Job in 2011

If you’ve survived the layoffs and cutbacks that have impacted so many companies recently, 2011 is the year to ask for a raise or a promotion, according to a recent article by CNN/Money.

Many economists believe the U.S. unemployment numbers will start to improve by the end of 2011, but it could still take six years to reach the levels seen before the recession, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

While companies will still be slow to hire new employees, they’ll be more apt to give raises to keep high value employees, and promote from within.

Here are four tips from CNN/Money on how to cash in at work in 2011:

  1. Angle for that promotion – One of the best ways to get a raise is to get a promotion.  On average, you’ll see a 7% increase for a promotion, instead of just a 3% across the board raise for everyone. [Read more…]