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Finding Joy in Your Work – Your Bucket List

In the movie, The Bucket List, two men (Jack Nicholson as Edward and Morgan Freeman as Carter) with quite contrasting and differing lives find themselves sharing a hospital room.  Both men have a terminal illness and only a short while to live.  This unlikely pair develops a friendship and in the process creates a list of things they want to do before they die. As they proceed on this journey, they each experience life changing revelations.

One of the things on their list was to see the pyramids of Egypt. As they’re looking at the pyramids with a backdrop of blue sky and sunshine, Carter tells Edward that the ancient Egyptians believed that when you die, you have to answer two questions before you get into heaven.

•    Have you found joy in your life?

•    Have you brought joy to others’ lives?

Our work  is one avenue where we can both experience and provide joy to others.

In ways do you find joy in your work?

In what ways do you provide joy to others through you work?



Employers Maintain Upward Trend in Hiring Confidence for Q1 2013

According to a survey by  the Manpower Group,  U.S. hiring decision makers predict a slightly increased hiring pace is expected for Quarter 1 2013. After seasonal variations, the Net Employment Outlook for Quarter 1 2013 is +12%, a 1 percentage point increase from Quarter 4 2012 and slightly elevated from +9% during the same period last year.
This quarter’s research concludes:

  • Strongest First Quarter Outlook in Five Years: The Quarter 1 2013 Net Employment Outlook is the strongest first quarter data collected since 2008.
  • Improvement in Retail Sector: The Wholesale & Retail Trade industry anticipates an increase in hiring in Quarter 1 2013. Often, after seasonal hiring, there is a decline in hiring plans at the start of a new year.
  • Positive Trend in Northeast and West: Employers in the Northeast and West anticipate increases in hiring in Quarter 1 2013. Compared to this time last year, employers in the Northeast indicate a 4 & increase, while employers in the West expect to increase hiring by 7 %.

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 17 % expect to add employees in Quarter 1 2013, while 8 % expect a decrease in workers, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +9%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +12%. Seventy-two percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans.



Gain Focus & Improve Productivity by Reducing Multi-Tasking

More companies today are focusing on mindfulness training to help improve productivity.  According to an article in,  research shows that 49% of the time our mind is not focused on the task at hand.  Especially with the bombardment of constant technology, we are driven to distraction by  email, phone(s), ipads and other technology.

According to Basex, a research firm, the estimated cost to companies from lost productivity is $997 billion and 28 billion hours.

Mindfulness is the opposite of multi-tasking. It is most commonly taught by various forms of meditation. With more focus  people make fewer mistakes.   Companies who have instituted such practices as mindfulness training include Apple, Google and General Mills.

Reducing noise levels helps, including music and TV.  I recommend planning your day the night before.  Make note of all important tasks that need to  be completed, and focus on getting those done first.  Have a regular schedule and take time, even five or 10 minutes for meditating to slow your mind and stay focused.



The Slow Hand of Progress

Whether it is being frustrated with organizational issues or beauocracy, not getting that promotion you hoped for,  being unsure of what direction you want to  take with your career, or starting a new business, may of us are unsatisfied with the slow hand of progress. “For everything there is a season and a time for everything purpose under heaven,” scripture tells us.  But believing  and living this is something else indeed.

The important things to remember are to make sure that every day you are doing the right things to reach your goals.  Stay on task.  Persevere despite setbacks.  Move ahead even if you are uncertain  what the future holds for you. Be open to opportunities.  Set goals, but  adjust them as necessary.  Keep the faith.

The quote below may help to keep you centered.

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God

We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability — and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.

Your ideas mature gradually — let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste.

Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.

Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.”

– By Pierre Teilhard De Chardin SJ



For Life Balance

Take time to think  – It is the source of power.

Take time to play – It is the secret of perpetual youth.

Take time to read – It is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to pray – It is the greatest power on earth.

Take time to be friendly – It is the road to happiness.

Take time to laugh – It is the music of the soul.

Take time to give – It is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to work – It is the price of success.

Take time to do charity – It is the key to heaven.

Author Unknown



US Added 146,000 jobs in November & Unemployment fell to 7.7%

The jobs growth number was better  than expected and the jobless rate was the lowest since December 2008.

Many expected a lower number of jobs because of hurricane Sandy which crippled the NE last month.

The Labor Department revised its job growth figures downward for October and September .

But  November’s net growth in payrolls was below the average of 170,000 new jobs added monthly over the course of August, September and October.

Manufacturing jobs fell by 7,000. Economists  speculate  that causes include lower demand  for goods from overseas while US companies await resolution of the fiscal cliff.




Can Your Boss Change?

A bad  boss is one of the top reasons that people leave their jobs.  Of the 595 employees responding to a Society for Human Resource Management  job satisfaction survey, only 39% said they were  ‘very satisfied” with   their relationship with their immediate supervisor.  Bad bosees can be toxic for an organization  and result in high turnover, lower productivity, more absenteesim and higher medical costs due to employee stress.

The skills needed   for success in a leadership position involve vision. But managers need different skills.  Effective commmunication is  an example. It is critical  to tell employees what is expected of them,  explain how their efforts and the efforts of their department or unit contribute to the  success of the company, and provide continuous feedback on job performance.  Of course, all of these things should be communicated in a way that builds the relationship between the supervisor and the employee.

That may take practice for those whose  managers personalities are not naturally suited for then role.  But  manangers  can learn  these skills through coaching and experience.  It helps to have a mentor who cares about your  management development and can give you pointers.

Employees  also want to know that,  as their boss, you care about their own career development.  They want to be given the tools  and be empowered to do the job.