Monday, December 30, 2013

4 Work Mistakes You Don't Know Your Making

BEST OF Work Mistakes

Check out this great article from Daily Muse!

by reposted from 

When you’re the newbie at work, you do everything in your power to stay on your best behavior. You show up to the office early, leave late, dress conservatively, and absolutely never, ever check your Facebook page from your work computer.

But, as the weeks go by, it’s easy to slide into a sense of comfort and let your guard down, following in the footsteps of your co-workers (who know just how far they can bend the rules). And soon, you’re missing deadlines, tweeting covertly, making excuses as to why you’re not as productive as before, and in general, setting yourself up for a not-so-great performance review.

So what happened? Well, it’s simple—you forgot the basics. If you’re looking for a way to get back into gear, revisit the advice you got when you were first starting out in the professional world, and follow these easy (but often ignored) bits of advice.

1. Stop Using Excuses

Just like your puppy dog eyes didn’t work to convince your 8th grade teacher that your little sister threw away your math homework, excuses don’t go very far with your boss. And no matter how genuine your intentions are (“but I had so much on my plate—and then I came down with the flu!”), all your manager will hear is that you don’t use your time effectively.

So here’s a no-fail way to impress your boss: Do what she says. When you have an assignment, don’t make her remind you about it, and don’t ask for an extension. If you have questions, ask them well before the deadline, and if you need help from teams in other departments, engage them with time to spare. Do quality work, and turn it in on time.

By completing your work without excuses or constant reminders, you’ll gain your boss’ immediate trust and respect, and you’ll be well on your way to gaining more responsibility—or even a promotion.

2. Show up on Time

You may think it’s endearing to be labeled the “late one,” who never seems to make it to a meeting before the fifth PowerPoint slide. So you laugh and give a little shoulder shrug as you noisily bustle into the conference room, assuming that everyone just writes it off as, “Oh, that Suzie.”

Well, it's not cute. And no matter how much you feel it’s a part of who you are, lateness is not an inherent trait—so excuses along the line of, “I can’t help it!” won’t work. If you’re serious about your job and impressing your team and boss, make it a point to show up on time—or better yet, early. Whatever it takes (e.g., an extra alarm, a working coffee pot, a puppy who needs attention at 5 AM), make it happen. It’s worth it.

3. Return Emails

When our communication is so readily at our fingertips, there’s no excuse for leaving your email unanswered for more than a day or two. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve written an inter-department email to get no response. Not in one week, not in two—never.

So, it’s no surprise that you’ll earn instant respect from your entire team (and anyone else who contacts you) if you answer emails in a timely manner. Don’t know the answer? That’s no excuse to leave the email sitting in your inbox. Write a quick response anyway: “Hi Jan, I’m not 100% sure about this, so let me look into it, and I will get back to you by the end of the week.” Then, get back to her before the end of the week.

I know—we’re all busy. And I’m not saying you need to answer every email the moment it arrives in your inbox (that’s certainly not an efficient way to work). But when you ignore an email, what you’re conveying to the sender is: “You’re not important enough to warrant a response.”

4. Follow Through

As a new manager in an unfamiliar industry, I don’t always know the answers to my employees’ questions. But instead of just having them ask someone else, I let them know that I’ll find out and get back to them. And then, I follow through. Each time I’m able to deliver an answer, I’m conveying that I do what I say I’m going to do—and my employees grow to trust me more and more.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to answering questions. If you tell a co-worker you’ll proofread her report, don’t push it off until she reminds you about it two weeks later. If you assure your team that you’ll take care of an important client’s account, don’t let it sit on the bottom of your to-do list until one of your co-workers has the customer on the phone, screaming because she hasn’t heard from anyone in over a week. If you make a commitment, follow through—you’ll convey that you can be trusted with anything.

Easy tips, right? Well, tell yourself that a few months into your new job, when you realize your boss usually forgets about the deadlines he gives you, and nothing bad ever happens when you forget to answer an email or two. But don’t fall into that trap! Go back to this basic advice, and you’ll never fail to impress your team, clients, and boss.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Career Spotlight: Speech Pathologist

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation Career Spotlight December 2013
Laura Morrison

Welcome to the start of a monthly career spotlight blog series created by the team at, an educational directory and resource for adult learners interested in pursuing a graduate degree.  Deciding to invest in your education is a huge decision, one that should be made only after careful planning and evaluation of all available options.  One way you may want to start thinking about your educational decisions is to consider what you want your life to look like after you graduate: How much money do you hope to earn? How much flexibility do you need in your career? Are you willing to relocate to pursue a career? What is the anticipated job growth in your field? In this series we will provide an overview of the job outlook, salary data, daily life, and educational requirements of selected careers in hopes that one of these spotlights will help you decide what you want to be when you grow up.

Okay, the first career spotlight is “Princess” just kidding (even though that does sound nice), in the interest of staying grounded in reality, let’s explore career options for Speech Pathologists.  If you have children or know people who have children you have probably heard about speech pathologists and you may have wondered what exactly they do and how exactly they got onto this career path.  Let’s take a closer look at what it is like to be a speech pathologist.

A speech pathologist is someone who works to diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders.  They are generally employed within the educational or healthcare system, but they might also work in private practice, at an agency, or at rehabilitation facilities.  Most states require speech pathologists to obtain licensure, licensure requirements vary by state, but in general SLP’s are required to have earned a master’s degree from an accredited speech pathology program and have completed several hundred hours of supervised clinical training.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics speech pathologists earn a median annual salary of $69,870, and employment of speech pathologists is expected to grow by 23% between 2010 and 2020, and  most speech pathologists are employed full time.    

Interested in this career, great, now let’s dispel some common myths about speech pathologists:

Myth: Speech pathologists only work with children.

Fact:  Speech Pathologists are trained to work with individuals suffering from a communication or swallowing disorders.  This can include people of all ages and walks of life.  Speech pathologists are employed by schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals or health care centers. 

Myth: Speech pathologists are glorified teachers.

Fact: The educational requirements for speech pathologists more closely resemble those of a person in the healthcare field.  Speech pathologists are often required to take courses in anatomy, biology, neurology, and physiology, to name a few.  They are also usually required to complete several hundred hours of supervised clinical training in a variety of institutional settings.

Myth: Speech pathologists spend most of their time doing arts and crafts or playing games with their clients.

Fact:  While crafts and games are often used in speech therapy to encourage interaction, speech pathologists do much more than sit around cutting out squares and circles or playing guess who.  A good speech pathologist knows how to make therapy fun, but while their clients are playing SLP’s are working hard to ensure the activity is helping to improve their client’s ability to communicate.

In addition to a comfortable median salary, and potentially varied job opportunities, speech pathology was listed as number 19 in Forbes magazine’s list of the Top 20 Best Paying Jobs for Women in 2013.  If you are interested in learning more about careers in speech pathology visit to search for programs or browse our resources section.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays Post-Divorce

Here are some practical ideas for surviving the holidays, especially if this is your first Christmas as a single woman.  As we all know, the holidays can be stressful, but it seems even worse after a divorce. When the holiday stress starts, take a deep breath and use some of the suggestions below to help you survive the season.This article is reposted from

  Two stockings hanging from the fireplace mantle The Holidays are upon us once again and for many of you, this might be the first time around as a new unit, I.E. without your ex. It's a difficult time, no doubt about it, and just another step in the transition into a new life after divorce. If you plan for this season you can make it easier on yourself.

Go easy on yourself

Emotions may overwhelm you right now. Know that you will have major bouts of sadness, anger…whatever. Take good care of yourself and give yourself as much nurturing as you can muster. If you had a friend who was in your shoes, how would you treat her? With love and compassion I would think.
Get in touch with the things that you know will lift your mood and stay away from anything that upset or saddens you. So if trimming the tree with old ornaments makes you sad…don't. Go out and get new ones or sit with the kids and make them yourselves. Again, do things differently now that your life is different.
Do the things that make you feel better. If you had no obligations and no limitations…what activities would you engage in to make yourself happy? Would you go to the theater? Spend the day at the museum? Get a massage and facial? Go hiking?

Watch out for expectations.

There is so much pressure to have the most wonderful time of your life during the holidays. Unrealistic and unachievable expectations set us up for disappointment and resentment. Accept the difficulty of this time of year and your loss.
SET BOUNDARIES: Explain to your family and friends what you are capable of doing this year, and what you aren't. Don't let others guilt you into taking on more than you can handle. Learn to say no as it will define you. Also learn to say yes to the things that will make you feel better.

Make certain that you do not isolate yourself.

If you are sharing the kids, ensure that you have somewhere to go on the day that the kids are with your ex. I have in the past even invited myself to a good friend's home and they welcomed me with open arms. Remember, everyone is busy during this season and sometimes they just need a friendly reminder. Get out of the house. Your pain and depression may tempt you to lock yourself away but force yourself to go out even if it's only for a short time. Look into a divorce support group in your area. They help tremendously.

Seek Support

Have the phone number of your counselor, clergyperson, life coach, close friend or hotline taped to your phone. Call someone when you are feeling really low. No one said you had to go it alone.

Cut yourself some slack.

Don't go crazy this year shopping and cooking and whatever if you can help it.
Don't forget all the stress and depression busters: exercise, yoga and meditation. These are scientifically proven ways to combat the negative effects of stress on your mind and body.

If you can afford it, make plans to get away.

I remember a time when I was brand new in NYC and New Year's was looming like a black cloud. I made last minute plans to go away to a health spa for a few days and it was wonderful. I met great people and made life-long friends. During these tough economic times that might not be an option for you but that does not mean you can't find an alternative.

DON'T numb the pain with drugs or alcohol

Numbing emotional distress with chemicals creates more depression. Try the stress busters instead.

Practice gratitude.

Think of the things in your life that are good and right: health, shelter, food, children, family, friends, pets, a job, freedom, safety, self-esteem, new beginnings and the beauty that surrounds us.


There is nothing like giving back to make you feel better and to show you that there are always those who are so less fortunate than we are. Head for a shelter, a soup kitchen, a hospital…whatever.

Use the New Year as a starting point for a new life.

A new year is just around the corner.  Begin doing things differently. Try on new activities. Engage in new ways. Stay in action! It is the small, actionable steps that lead to empowerment and positive change.
This too shall pass. You will survive the holidays. Watch out for pity parties…been there and done that! Remember, it is how you choose to handle the holidays that will have the greatest impact on your experience…just like it is how you choose to handle what life has given you that will make the greatest difference in your life.

Article by Shelley Stile.