This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Georgia O’Keeffe, artist
Why is it that when bosses complain about poor performers, they're never talking
Too often managers attribute all their woes to their lackluster underlings or the mis-
treatment they receive from their own supervisors. Many are unwilling or unable to
even consider the possibility that they themselves might just be the problems that
plague morale or performance within their departments. Managers of this ilk con-
tribute to a challenge that undermines many businesses: bad boss syndrome.
BBS affects employees who are burdened by unqualified or unappreciative managers
who stifle their creativity and hamper their growth within the company.
Unappreciative bosses are the pits, especially since there’s often an easy solution to
steer toward a more positive course. These bosses often believe that if you do the job
you were hired for, then you aren't entitled to praise or gratitude from them. It would
never occur to them to say thanks or to show their appreciation for your efforts. After
all, you get a paycheck for that, so why should you deserve more?
I agree that employees shouldn't expect back-patting 24/7, but I strongly disagree
with the philosophy of managers who don't offer frequent feedback and praise. In
fact, when they opt to leave their positions, the majority of people quit their bosses,
not their jobs. Study after study confirms that workers are more committed to their
jobs and are more productive when they know that management appreciates their
While the onus shouldn't be on the individual to beg for praise, as an employee you
can try to retrain your boss to deliver the positive reinforcement you seek. Explain
that such communication motivates you to deliver your very best work. Ask directly
for constructive feedback, not just critical reaction, to your efforts.
As a manager, ask yourself if you treat your direct reports the same way you expect
your manager to treat you.
Recognize good work. When your people put in long hours, contribute great ideas or
produce strong results, acknowledge them. This can come in many forms—verbal
credit in front of the group, an e-mail thanking an employee for a job well done, and
even a spot bonus that says, "We really appreciate you."
The most basic form of appreciation is perhaps the easiest: Say "thank you." Those
two words aren't spoken enough around the office. Managers are quick to complain
when something goes wrong, but they're not always willing to say thanks for putting
in an honest day's work. Try it. Saying thank you—and meaning it—pays dividends
in any workplace.
With that, I want take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Women For
Hire and to invite you to explore some of the ways you can bring meaningful recog-
nition to your workplace.
Founder & CEO
Women For Hire
RECOGNIZE YOUR TEAM
Photo by Tommy Agriodimas
We are looking for women who have arrived.
But have not stopped.
Congratulations on being here. Where are you going next?
MassMutual is not only an industry leader and a Fortune 100
Company, but also one of only 12 organizations ever to receive
the EP Symbol of Excellence.
And we succeed much the
same way you do. By simply deciding where we want to go.
Then going there.
• Fortune Most Powerful Women Conference
• Ofﬁce Depot Success Strategies for Business Women Conference
• Danskin Women’s Triathlon Series
• Working Mother Magazine Work/Life Conference
• Women in Insurance and Financial Services
• American Women’s Society of CPAs
• Executive Women’s Golf Association
• New York Women in Film and Television
• Game Face – a National Touring Photographic Exhibit of
Female Athletes and a Free Middle School Curriculum
• Center for Women’s Business Research
• 13 Women’s Advisory Boards Nationwide
Free Life Insurance Program
Visit us at the MassMutual booth or online at
www.massmutual.com/wfh, or call 1-877-333-4410
for career information.
© 2005 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springﬁeld, MA. All rights reserved. www.massmutual.com
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing designation (or ﬂeet name) for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its afﬁliates. C:72206
Recognized in 2005 as one of Working Mother magazine's
100 Best Companies to Work For,
MassMutual is also committed to:
1 Fortune Magazine, April 18, 2005
2 The EP Symbol of Excellence, awarded by Exceptional Parent magazine and the EP Foundation for Education, is in recognition of a company/organization’s
philosophy that includes consistent support and advocacy on behalf of the special needs population.
3 Eligibility is limited. See www.massmutual.com for details.
The above advertisement is one
that should attract many women.
Who wouldn’t want the opportunity
to reap large financial rewards for
doing something good for people?
And who wouldn’t want flexible
hours and the ability to work at
least some of the time from home?
The answer, at least according to
industry statistics, is women. What
is it about a career in financial serv-
ices that fails to attract women? We
know that, on average, fewer than
20% of career agents in the top life
insurance companies are women.
We also know that an even smaller
percentage of women reach the top
sales tiers of these organizations.
And yet, women are searching for
meaningful, rewarding careers.
They want flexible hours to achieve
balance of family life and career
life. They want financial security
for themselves and their families.
A career in financial services
should be a natural fit for women.
Women are relationship builders
and problem solvers. We know
that today successful careers in
financial services are built on a
solid foundation of relationships.
We are no longer motivated by
the single transaction. We want to
help our clients holistically address
their changing needs over the
course of their lifetimes. But, in
order to best meet those changing
needs, you need to have a solid
grasp of increasingly complex con-
cepts, and you need to be able to
motivate the client to act on the rec-
ommendations you have made – in
short, you have to be able to sell.
And, in selling, you have to risk
rejection. For women, who have
worked so hard for acceptance as
equals and who have worked so
hard to prove their ability, rejection
is very hard to take.
Companies, however, are catching
on that women agents are vital to
their future success. One, women
know how to talk to other women –
we’ve been doing it our entire lives.
And, opportunities for future growth
are heavily dependent upon being
able to tap into the various and
diverse segments of women’s
Women as a group are terribly
underinsured and in search of sound
financial advice. Of course, women –
as clients – tell us that gender is
not an issue for them in choosing a
financial advisor (OppenheimerFunds
Women and Investing survey, 5/9/02).
But, they also want an advisor
who will pay them the attention
they deserve, who they can trust,
who will respect them, who has
greater experience than their own,
and who understands the client’s
desire to maintain control. In other
words, women want advice and
options from their advisor, but they
want to make the final decisions.
These are qualities that women
agents possess and, accordingly,
provide them a unique advantage
in the women’s marketplace.
Women agents are acutely aware
of the many pressures on their
female clients’ time because they
are experiencing many of the same
challenges. This is not to say that
male agents do not have the same
challenges – many do. But women
truly understand what other
women are dealing with.
Having made the case that women
are great relationship builders
and have a natural affinity in
women’s markets, what are the
barriers to their success as financial
The fact that they remain a dis-
tinct minority among the ranks of
advisors at a time when women are
entering other professional careers
in greater numbers tells us that we
have not done a great job of advo-
cating this career to women.
The first barrier is the lack of women
role models. When women look at
this career, they want to see other
women who have succeeded.
Women who love this career are
able to balance it with family and
other personal obligations, are able
to truly make a difference in their
clients’ lives, and are earning enough
to support themselves and their
families in the lifestyle they want.
The lack of role models sends the
subliminal message that this may
not be a career women want. Think
of it this way: How would you feel
if you walked into a room and every-
one there was vastly different from
you? Perhaps they all spoke another
language that you did not speak or
understand.That’s how many women
feel walking into an agency where
there are few, if any, role models.
Many agencies have no women
agents at all. In some agencies,
the only employed women are the
support staff. One truly is a lonely
Let’s assume you currently have no
women agents but want to recruit.
What do you do? If you provide
your female recruits with support
and education and you help them
develop a market, you will be able
to increase your numbers of success-
ful women agents. But, you have
to make a commitment to truly
support them, coach them, offer
positive reinforcement, role-play
client planning meetings with them
and help them to get comfortable
with closing a sale.
The one message I consistently
have heard from newer women
agents is that they want more
guidance on closing and they
want a mentor who will listen,
coach, guide and challenge them
to overcome obstacles.
In addition, they want to have
contact with other women agents.
If there are none in your agency,
then find others within your com-
pany who would be willing to
provide an internal network.
And, encourage them to associate
with organizations designed to
provide them with ideas, encourage-
ment and support, such as Women
in Insurance and Financial Services
(www.w-wifs.org). Encourage them
to obtain their professional creden-
tials, such as the CFP, CLU, ChFC
and CLTC. Successfully obtaining
these credentials will not only
increase their base of knowledge,
but also their confidence in their
Developing their target market
early on and critically assessing
whether that market is viable to
them is also key. If they have no
natural market – and you have no
target market to offer them or help
develop – then you will continue to
experience low retention rates for
your women recruits.
It sounds like a lot of work.
Actually, it’s more of a commitment
to making it work, than work itself.
And, it is a commitment worth
making – women agents will be
key revenue drivers for you. They
have a passionate commitment to
their clients, and that passion
begets client loyalty.
Loyal clients who have been moti-
vated to implement successful
plans will be your best advocates.
And, you will have succeeded in
doing well by doing good. It doesn’t
get any better than that!
Susan Sweetser is second vice
president, women’s markets,
Massachusetts Mutual Life
Insurance Company, Springfield,
Mass. She can be reached at
Women In Financial Services –
It Should Be An Ideal Match
By Susan W. Sweetser
and self-starters who
desire to run their own
businesses and to make a
difference in the lives of
their clients. Be your own
boss. Long hours (though
flexible) to start. Possibility
of working fromhome.
Small financial rewards
initially as you growyour
business. Large future
Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, January 16, 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The National Underwriter Company
in the serial publication. All rights reserved. Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author. C: 72492
5 The harder I work, the luckier I get. Samuel Goldwyn, producer
Coming in September!
We’re thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of our third
book written by Women For Hire CEO Tory Johnson and her tal-
ented co-author and friend Robyn Spizman. Take This Book to
Work: How to Ask For and Get Money, Fulfillment and
Advancement (St. Martin’s Press; $23.95) features questions that
every career woman should know how to ask, along with expert
advice on doing just that. We hope you’ll be among the first
people to purchase this exceptional guide.
In New York, Kelly Ripa will host a star-studded launch party
and we’ll share the celebration on womenforhire.com. No
matter where you’re located, we hope you’ll be our virtual guest
in the festivities connected to the book tour and our fall season
of events. We’ll bring you exceptional behind-the-scenes access
to everything we do—from the scoop on local and national tele-
vision interviews to the preparation for each of the career expos.
You’ll be in on it all—the exhausting, the hilarious, the chaotic,
and everything in between. We promise to give you a fun,
smart, inspirational ride!
IN EVERY ISSUE
1 CORNER CUBICLE
5 IN THIS ISSUE
7 INSIDE WOMEN FOR HIRE
9 BULLETIN BOARD
13 SERIOUS SWAG
36 FAIR WELL
17 Playfair chief Matt Weinstein
19 Energy coach Jon Gordon
21 Leadership guru Cathy Greenberg
23 Inside Intel
25 Helping hand at Women For Hire
27 Serious fun at Southwest Airlines
29 Crafty queen Jennifer Ballot
31 Comic believer Jen Bilik
33 Networking maven Susan RoAne
35 Lab coat baker Rene Higgins
IN THIS ISSUE
Work in Fortune í00
on a fIexibIe baaia.
Wly uo moie rlan Ioirune comµanies iely on us
ro suµµoir rlem virl maikering ralenr· As rle voilu`s
laigesr maikering sraínng nim. ve give access ro
rlousanus oí exµeiienceu maikereis ro ger µiouucr
launcles iolling: meer suiges in ueliveiaLles: anu µioviue
coveiage uuiing mareiniry. meuical. anu íamily leaves.
Oui ioLs uaraLase las lunuieus oí conriacr anu a selecr
numLei oí íull-rime oµµoiruniries in viirually eveiy
maikering uisciµline. Naikering anu Accounr
Nanagemenr. Sriaregy anu Planning. Reseaicl. PR.
Bianuing. Wirl oínces in counriies anu
engagemenrs rlar come in all slaµes anu sizes÷íiom
monrllong µioiecrs ro mulriyeai assignmenrs÷oui ralenr
is given rle lexiLiliry ro Luilu rleii iesumes vlile also
aclieving voik/liíe Lalance.
· Product/Brand Management
· Event PIanning
· Marketing Communicationa
· ChanneI AnaIyaia
· Data AnaIyaia
· Marketing 8trategy
· Web DeveIopment
Ioi moie iníoimarion on iegisreiing virl Aquenr
Naikering Sraínng. visir us online ar aquent.com oi call
oui oínces ar 800 650 0550.
7 If you rest, you rust. Helen Hayes, actress
Visit womenforhire.com to subscribe to our magazine at no charge.
We’ll deliver future issues right to your doorstep.
FALL 2006 CAREER EXPOS
JOIN US THIS FALL AS WE BRING
TOGETHER THE BRIGHTEST WOMEN
AND THE BEST EMPLOYERS. AS WE
MARK OUR SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY,
WE’RE EXPANDING TO ELEVEN CITIES.
ST. LOUIS IS THE NEWEST ADDITION
TO OUR ROSTER.
WASHINGTON, DC: SEPT 27
TAMPA: OCT 5
CHICAGO: OCT 10
ST. LOUIS: OCT 12
NEW YORK: OCT 17
DALLAS: OCT 24
HOUSTON: OCT 26
BOSTON: OCT 31
LOS ANGELES: NOV 7
SAN DIEGO: NOV 9
ATLANTA: NOV 16
INSIDE WOMEN FOR HIRE
Join Women For Hire CEO and
ABC’s Good Morning America
Workplace Contributor Tory
Johnson prior to the start of each
career expo for her exceptional
Early Morning Seminar. From
8:30am to 10:00am, you’ll meet other dynamic professionals, hear
Johnson’s advice on advancing your career, and receive priority
admittance to the event.
Space is limited for each seminar and advance online registration is
required. Visit womenforhire.com and click on the event of your
choice to register.
CONNECT WITH THE
WOMEN FOR HIRE
Since the March launch of the Women
For Hire Network, more that five thou-
sand women have posted profiles to
connect professionally with one another.
Create your free account today.
Upload your photo, share your career
interests, post local and national events,
and invite friends to join too. Visit
network.womenforhire.com to get
SEARCH FOR GREAT JOBS ONLINE
Search for career opportunities at companies nationwide that are
looking to hire smart women like you. Visit womenforhire.com now to:
• Find great jobs
• Post your resume
• Create and store cover letters
• Register for job alerts
• Apply to positions
SHARE YOUR RESOURCES WITH US
Let us know if you’re involved in local or national organizations or
associations that we should know about. We rely on the support of
such groups of all sizes to help spread the word about our expos, and
we’re always looking to expand our network of contacts. We’re
happy to share our marketing muscle in return too. Email your ideas
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the name of the group,
a website, contact number or email address, and the type of organiza-
tion. We will follow-up with all leads you send our way.
Different ideas, perspectives, experiences.
These are so vital to the success of any
company and family. Which is why we’ve
created a flexible work environment that’s
conducive to your growth and success.
Sit with us. ey.com
Women bring something different
to the table.
9 Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having except as a result of hard work. Booker T. Washington, activist
BY THE GROUP
Global professional services firm Ernst &Young launched its
national Working Moms Network to provide support,
resources, networking, and mentoring opportunities for new,
expectant, and veteran mothers.
“Making the transition back into the workplace following a
parental leave can be a difficult time when many women
struggle with being a mother and a professional, and ask
themselves how they can do it all,” said Billie Williamson,
the firm’s Gender Equity and Flexibility Strategy Leader.
“We designed the Working Mothers Network to provide a
support system, sense of connectivity, and role models to
ensure that this critical group of women knows that we are
committed to their success.”
Don’t just be in awe of Ernst & Young’s leadership in this
area; take action on your own. Share E&Y’s program with
your manager to encourage the formation of a similar sup-
port group within your company. Or start an informal group
among your colleagues. Host brown bag get-togethers to
share best practices and initiate conversations on issues fac-
ing working moms. Invite the senior women within your
company to participate in the dialogue.
Expand your knowledge with free online courses and
reading groups with Barnes & Noble University. The site
offers a wide range of monthly topics to explore under
the liberal arts and life improvement umbrellas. Consider
options such as Buddhism and Everyday Life, Thinking
Like an Editor: How to Get Published, Becoming Your
Own Pilates Trainer, or Web Pages Made Easy.
You can also join the conversation in one of the many
online reading groups with insight from bestselling writ-
ers in every major category. If fiction is your cup of tea,
let the experts guide you through your favorite literary
classics. Visit university.barnesandnoble.com for details.
Got an idea you want to get off the ground? Ask SCORE
for assistance. SCORE is a premier source of free and
confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs.
With nearly 400 chapters throughout the country, SCORE
has helped more than seven million small businesses.
You can meet with seasoned counselors in person and
obtain free advice via email.
The content-rich website (score.org) offers how-to arti-
cles, business templates, business quizzes, tips of the day,
online workshops, and inspirational success stories.
See Yourself Here
We are a company with a clear vision.
To be the best in everything we do.
See how you can become a part of something great.
A place where you can be empowered to do something brilliant. Where challenges await your ideas.
Where ideas turn into actions. And leadership emerges. A place where diversity is appreciated.
See yourself in our Corporate Headquarters, Stores, or within Supply Chain/Logistics.
PI.7648940.6.9.jm.qxd 6/9/06 2:20 PM Page 1
Ernst & Young’s Williamson
11 Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Edison, inventor
WE’VE PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER TO COME UP WITH
A SUPERCHARGED LIST OF INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO BRING
FUN TO YOUR WORKPLACE. WHETHER YOU WORK ON
AN ASSEMBLY LINE OR AT AN ACCOUNTING FIRM THESE
ENTERTAINING IDEAS WILL SURELY ADD SOME PASSION
TO YOUR PLACE OF BUSINESS BY CONNECTING
Pictures from your prime:
Encourage all staff members to bring in a photo of themselves
that is at least 15 years old and display them cleverly on a
bulletin board. At the end of the week, hold a contest and
reward the person who identifies the most colleagues correctly.
Hire a masseuse from your local salon to provide 10 minute
shoulder, hand, or foot massages. Turn an unused nook into the
“Calm Corner” for the day complete with feel-good tunes and
Chuck Your Change:
Decorate an empty upturned water cooler and place it by the
front desk with a cardboard sign Will Work for Office Perks.
Explain that the change collected will be used for special treats
and office parties. Talk to your boss about getting the company
to match the donations so you can throw a festive End of
Hold a survivor-style challenge. Test your skills in waste-paper
basketball, an extreme solitaire assessment, even office-themed
Pictionary. Or invite small teams from other departments to
compete against each other. Crown the winner of the festivities
with an office-made medal crafted from multi-color paperclips.
Prep for a group photo by bringing fun props and costumes.
Baseball caps and uniforms; cowboy hats and boots; or colorful
wigs and clown noses. After the photo shoot, blow up the best
shots and display them around the office.
“I Scream” Social:
Use your power of persuasion to convince your manager to host
a monthly ice cream social. To sweeten up the treat, blast some
80’s rock tunes and sing a long for a little energy and amusement.
All kids and kids-at-heart love an excuse to put aside their work
for a stint and play the afternoon away. With permission, set
aside a few hours at the end of the work day once a month for a
group outing to the movies, a nearby museum, or for a relay race
in the park. Make it a big deal in advance with permission slip-
inspired reminder notices.
Share your best ideas to beat boredom on the Women For Hire
Network. Visit network.womenforhire.com to create a free
account and post your suggestions for bringing fun to any
BASICS TO BEAT BOREDOM
And there is only one you.
As the world's largest bottler of nonalcoholic beverages, we can
offer individuals with your unique brand of talent, drive and
vision, a career with numerous advantages. We provide global
opportunities, exciting career paths, excellent compensation and
benefits, and a dynamic, positive culture that is truly our own.
There's only ONE you...
and we'd like to get to know you better.
Log in and complete your online profile.
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and its Bottling Companies are an equal opportunity/drug free employer requiring drug and background checks on all new hires.
"Coca-Cola" is a trademark of The Coca-Cola Company.
Getting acquainted with talented people is important to our success. Tell us about your skills, education, goals and experience by creating your professional
profile on our newly redesigned career site. Search our current openings, complete an online profile and instantly seek your dream job using our concept
search technology. You can also set up a search agent which will send you automatic e-mail notifications of future positions that match your interests.
Explore Opportunities in these Functional Areas:
Our People. Our Products. Our Pride.
Woman for Hire Job Fairs
13 The best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Theodore Roosevelt, president
THE PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES WANT TO INJECT SOME FUN IN YOUR WORK DAY, SO THEY’RE
GIVING AWAY STUFF JUST FOR YOU. SEND US AN EMAIL TO JOBS@WOMENFORHIRE.COM WITH YOUR NAME AND
MAILING ADDRESS, ALONG WITH THE TOP THREE GIFTS YOU’D MOST LIKE TO RECEIVE FROM THIS SELECTION, AND
WE’LL ENTER YOU IN A DRAWING TO WIN. JULY 31, 2006 IS THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS.
Inject happiness in your work-
place by learning the secrets to
success at top companies.
Listen and learn How to
Work a Room with Susan
RoAne’s smart audiobook.
Decorate your desk and inject serious
humor in your work day with brilliant
products from Knock Knock.
Celebrate your success with Women For
Hire’s I BRING HOME THE BACON
Add some handcrafted glam
to your wardrobe with a
Sadie Pulitzer bag.
At Dell, we’re committed to understanding and meeting
the challenges many of us face at work. Through career
development, mentoring programs and networking
groups, we offer opportunities to support our employees’
successful career paths and help strike a balance
between professional and personal lives. Our goal is to
ensure that Dell is a great place to work, grow and aspire.
Success real time. Capture it at Dell.
Dell and the Dell logo are registered trademarks of Dell Inc. ©2006 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Dell Inc. cannot be held responsible for errors in typography or photography. Dell is an AA/EO employer. Workforce diversity is an essential
part of Dell’s commitment to quality and to the future. We encourage you to apply, whatever your race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
How do you get started? Visit www.dell.com/wfh.
CAREERS AT DELL. CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITIES.
Dell is a proud sponsor of Women for Hire.
Trisa Thompson uses a Dell Latitude D610
DEL-641_WomenForHire 1/18/06 1:58 PM Page 1
Discover new tricks from
man’s best friend.
Energize your career with
expert advice from guru
15 To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth. Pearl S. Buck, author
HAVE A BALL!
Who knew starting a business could be such a ball? Melisa
Moroko and Michele Kapustka are energetic sisters who live
across the street from one another in Chicago. With back-
grounds in sales and graphic design, the gals spent countless
evenings trying to think of that next big idea.
Ten years ago, they purchased a ten inch bouncy ball and used a
Sharpie marker to write, “Have a ball with your new baby,”
along with a mailing address to a friend. The post office deliv-
ered it—no packaging, no box, just a ball with a stamp.
SENDaBALL was born. Since then, thousands of people have
received a big dose of unexpected humor via clever messages on
bright balls delivered by their mailmen.
The sisters say their work brings laughter every day, but one
incident still tops the list. “We sent a ball for someone’s mother
who was turning 100. Her mom passed away the day before the
ball arrived; no complications, just old age. The sender said
everyone loved the ball so much they put it in the casket and
made jokes through the wake, ‘Don’t let Aunt Rose send you a
ball for your birthday. You’ll never get it.’”
Today both sisters are thrilled they pushed each other to get the
business off the ground. They’re still juggling parenting
demands (they have six kids between them) and other jobs to
pay the bills, but there’s no doubt they’re having a ball. “We
don't sell pacemakers or the batteries that go into pacemakers.
We sell smiles.”
To deliver a laugh to someone you know, visit sendaball.com.
FUN AT WORK CAN TAKE ANY NUMBER OF FORMS. We asked three
groups of people to tell us how they define a good time on the job. On the
following pages, you’ll meet experts, employees, and entrepreneurs who share
their strategies for success. They will inspire you to take action in your
own workplace to inject some excitement in your routine.
“Women who love their work have three things in common: They are challenged by
and skilled at the activities they do every day; they feel good about why they do those
activities; and they respect, and are respected by, the people with whom they work.”
JOANNE GORDON, AUTHOR, BE HAPPY AT WORK : 100 WOMEN WHO LOVE THEIR JOBS, AND WHY
Best Buy offers competitive pay,
employee discounts, a wide range
of benefits and excellent
Share it—with a Career at Best Buy
Become part of the nation’s
1 retailer of consumer electronics.
Apply online at careers.bestbuy.com for the following positions:
... and many more career possibilities.
Apply online at careers.bestbuy.com
© 2006 Best Buy
WomenforHireColor2 2/10/06 4:07 PM Page 1
17 He who laughs, lasts. Mary Pettibone Poole, essayist
The problem with standardized reward and recognition programs
is that they are a completely impersonal process. Instead of
thinking about the specific people involved, the company pro-
vides the same generic awards to everyone. But when an ele-
ment of fun and play is added to a financial reward or bonus, the
experience becomes personalized and much more memorable for
the award recipient, without any additional financial expense.
When you incorporate an element of fun
and play into your organization’s awards
program, your employees will be delighted
not only by the reward itself, but also by the
way the reward is presented to them. If you
can make the reward and recognition
process fun, then your employees will be
talking about the event long after it has
ended, and you will have multiplied its
team-building impact many, many times.
Dr. Jeff Alexander of the Youthful Tooth
dental office calculated that he could afford
to give a two hundred dollar bonus to each
member of his staff. But Dr. Alexander
knew that if he just added the money to
each of their paychecks, his staff members
would've only been excited about it for a lit-
tle while. They would've probably used the
money for something practical. So Dr. Alexander invested a bit
more time, energy, and creativity, and found a playful way to use
the bonus money— a way that had a much more lasting effect.
Dr. Alexander closed down his office for two hours one after-
noon, and took all thirty-five members of his practice to a shop-
ping mall. He gathered the staff around him in a circle and hand-
ed them each an envelope containing two hundred dollars in
“This is not your money,” Dr. Alexander told them. “This is my
money. But anything you buy for yourself with this money in the
next hour is yours to keep.” He spelled out his rules: Everyone
had to spend all the money on themselves—buying at least five
different items in one hour. Any unspent money was to be
returned to the doctor.
His employees spent the next hour dashing wildly from one
store to the next, yelling back and forth to each other about
treasures they had found. “If I had just given them the money,
they would have put it in the bank or spent it on paying bills,”
says Dr. Alexander. “This was a real treat for them—and it gave
me a great feeling, watching them having fun.” At the next staff
meeting, everyone brought in the presents they had purchased
for themselves for a show-and-tell session with the group.
By adding an aura of unexpected excitement to the presentation
of the bonus money, Dr. Alexander was able to create a special
team-building opportunity for his staff. The trip to the mall gave
his employees the chance to interact with each other in a posi-
tive social situation completely separate
from the normal working environment.
Dr. Alexander's basic concept can be easily
adapted to fit a more modest budget.
Catherine Jackson, a college food services
director, was inspired by Dr. Alexander's
story to take her own secretary out to lunch
at a restaurant in the mall near her office.
“During lunch I told her what I appreciated
about her. Things I hadn't taken the time to
tell her before. Then, after lunch was over, I
gave her fifty dollars and I said to her, 'Take
the next hour off, cruise around the mall,
and buy yourself a present from me!'”
On the opposite end of the financial spec-
trum, The Ford Motor Company spent more
than a million dollars in one memorable
evening. The auto giant rented out a Nordstrom's department
store in downtown San Francisco one evening, and gave $5,000
in spending money to each of its 250 top-selling sales managers,
all of whom were in town for a national sales meeting. Ford
hired sports celebrities Walter Payton, Tommy Lasorda, and
Julius Erving to accompany the sales managers on their shop-
ping spree. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Payton
had a ball in the shoe department, acting as salesman to the
Like the staff of the Youthful Tooth and like Catherine Jackson
and her secretary, the Ford sales managers created some “shared
history” together that evening, a history filled with playful
memories that they could all reminisce about together in the
months that followed.
No matter what your budget, you can make rewarding your
people a whole lot of fun.
Matt Weinstein is the founding president of Playfair, Inc., an
international team building organization that pioneered the
study of fun at work. He can be contacted at playfair.com.
BY MATT WEINSTEIN
Weinstein playing King Tut
19 Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. Anne Frank, author
Job Search: Ugh! These two words
evoke fear in the hearts of millions of
people every year. After all nobody likes
being told, “No, we don’t want you.”
Who enjoys having to face the fear of
rejection, a dwindling bank account, and
an uncertain future? Job searching can be
so draining, so fear provoking, and so
annoying that most people would rather
have root canal than search for a job.
It doesn’t have to be that way, especially
if you think of your job search as a jour-
ney and realize that life is like an energy
bus. There are some rules you should
know that will energize your ride and
take you where you want to go.
RULE 1: YOU’RE THE DRIVER AND YOU
CHOOSE YOUR ENERGY
Get on the bus and take control of the
wheel. Take back your power. The
Chinese symbol for crisis is also opportu-
nity. Choose to see the opportunity here
and choose to believe that right now you
have the wonderful opportunity to find
the job that is right for you. It’s a gift, not
a curse. Instead of letting negative
thoughts and emotions drain, you choose
the positive thoughts, emotions and per-
ceptions that will energize you. Choose to
RULE 2: VISION AND FOCUS MOVE
THE BUS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Think of your thoughts as the steering
wheel that guide you where you need to
go. To make the energy of thought work
for you, write down your vision of where
you want to go. Write down what your
job looks like. What do you do each day?
Where is it? Then spend 10 minutes every
day visualizing yourself doing this job.
No athlete makes it to the Olympics with-
out visualization because studies show it
works. It can work for you too.
RULE 3: DON’T WASTE ENERGY ON
THOSE WHO DON’T GET ON YOUR
Don’t worry about the people who don’t
want to ride on your bus. Maybe they
were meant to get on another bus. Maybe
they weren’t right for your journey. Just
keep your eyes and energy focused on the
road ahead and keep asking people to get
on your bus. Gandhi said, “I will not let
anyone walk through my mind with their
dirty feet,” and neither should you.
RULE 4: FUEL YOUR RIDE WITH
POSITIVE ENERGY AND ENTHUSIASM
Enthusiasm attracts more people on your
bus and positive energy helps you over-
come the road blocks and pot holes on
your journey. A British study researched
five hundred charmed people. To the out-
side world these people seemed to have it
all and nothing ever went wrong in their
lives. What the researchers found was
that these people did experience setbacks
and challenges like everyone else, but
they were effective at turning the bad into
To cultivate daily positive energy try the
following fun simple exercises based on
my latest research in positive psychology
• Take a daily 10 minute thank-you walk.
It is physiologically impossible to be
thankful and stressed at the same time.
While you are walking, think and say
what you are thankful for. You may not
have a job but you have your health, you
can walk, you have friends. This exercise
changes your state of mind and helps you
take on the day.
• Listen to your favorite songs while driv-
ing to job interviews.
• Start a success journal. Every night
before you go to bed, write down your
success of the day. Not all the rejections
you received or things that went wrong.
Instead write down what went right. By
focusing each night on your successes
you will start to create more success and
you’ll look forward to the next day.
• Smile, laugh and play. They make you
feel more alive. Instead of thinking, “I
can’t have fun or play since I don’t have
a job,” realize that by smiling, laughing,
and playing you will create the energy
that helps you find the right job.
RULE 5: ENJOY THE RIDE
Try to put everything in perspective.
Realize that life is short and we only have
one ride through it. Make the most of it
and know that when you are enjoying the
ride your journey unfolds magically. I have
found that when people start enjoying the
search, many times the job finds them.
Jon Gordon is a best-selling author of
Energy Addict: 101 Mental, Physical, and
Spiritual Ways to Energize your Life
(Perigee), The 10 Minute Energy
Solution (Putnam), and the forthcoming
The Energy Bus. As a professional speaker,
energy and performance coach, Gordon
has infused energy into organizations
such as The PGA Tour, The Jacksonville
Jaguars, Wachovia Bank, Chubb
Insurance, Cingular Wireless, GE, State
Farm Insurance, The United Way, and the
Super Bowl Host Committee.
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• Restaurant Dining Privileges
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or apply online
21 If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself. Johnny Carson, comedian
Providing unexpected treats, bringing in massage therapists to
relieve stressed muscles, taking the team out to a movie—lots
of companies use “gadget plays” to provide a “fun” work
A big danger is that they are trying to inject fun into a job that
lacks it. As my colleagues (Dan Baker and Collins Hemingway)
and I found in writing What Happy Companies Know, happy
companies are happy all the time, not just when somebody
brings in fresh cookies. Our research shows that happy compa-
nies are the most innovative and financially successful compa-
nies—and also bring the most joy to their employees.
Right, you say. Faced with a grumpy boss, whining colleagues,
or unmotivated subordinates, you feel a million miles removed
from your professional
happy place. You are
stuck, stressed out, one
more road-kill on
today’s global business
highway. What to do?
Change yourself. Your
own thoughts have
turned you into a victim.
Consider two women,
both of them hard
workers employed in
low-level jobs and both
with difficult bosses.
The first woman com-
plained bitterly but pri-
vately but never asked
for a raise or looked for
another job. Unhappy
at the same company for 30 years but afraid of change, she
became embittered toward her employer and life in general. In con-
trast, whenever the second woman had to deal with her nasty boss
she told herself, “I was looking for a job when I found this one.”
That one phrase set her free. Giving herself permission to leave
anytime she wanted, she did not allow herself to feel trapped.
She gave herself emotional and psychological control over her
destiny and made rational choices about her future—leaving
when it was best for her. She demonstrated personal mastery of
This does not mean control over every aspect of your job. That
is impossible, for a secretary or a CEO. It means taking respon-
sibility for your thoughts and emotions as well as your behaviors.
Managing yourself is the foundation for personal empowerment.
Practice personal mastery in these ways:
• Ask what deeply satisfies you about your work. If you are
unsatisfied, ask what positive actions would make you happy.
Identify three specific steps to begin to reshape your immediate
• If you cannot be happy in your current job, create a specific
plan to find work that will make you happy. You deserve an
employer committed to meaningful work, don’t you?
• Consider starting your own firm, however small. Many women
have found that this is the best way to find employment that
matches their values.
Dozens of happy companies exist in every community. Do due
diligence. Happy companies:
• Have clear, meaningful missions they practice every day.
• Are engaged with their community.
• Are committed to employees.
• Know that profit is not the mission but the way to fund the
Your next plan is to create or join that company. Then fun does
not have to be added onto work. It will be built in.
Cathy Greenberg, Ph.D., is the co-author of What Happy
Companies Know with Dan Baker, Ph.D. and Collins
Hemingway. Visit h2cleadership.com.
FUN ISN’T ADDED ON,
IT’S BUILT IN
BY CATHY GREENBERG,
Management • Research
w h e r e
NYU Medical Center provides its staff with far more than just a place to work. Rather, we are an institution
you can be proud of, an institution where you’ll feel good about devoting your time and your talents. And
just as our employees invest so much in us, we invest in our employees. We’re pleased to have one of the
most competitive compensation packages not only among New York’s hospitals and healthcare institutions,
but within the corporate sector as well.
To find out more about us and to apply online please visit www.nyumc.org and click on “CAREERS.” We
are an equal opportunity employer.
We advance medicine.™
B R I L L I A N T C A R E E R S B E G I N
One of the premier healthcare institutions in the world, NYU Medical Center combines the impressive
resources of Tisch Hospital, the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, and the NYU School of Medicine.
We’re the first choice for entry-level professionals from diverse fields for one simple reason: our
commitment to developing our people through continuous learning and exposure to the best minds in the
industry. So, whether you’re interested in a career within healthcare; within science; or in another area such
as management, finance, or administrative support, NYU Medical Center can offer you the resources,
recognition, challenges, and rewards that you need to perform at your very best. We are always looking for
talented people to join us in the following areas:
NYUMED.NY25773 1/24/06 3:38 PM Page 1
Happy author and expert Greenberg
23 There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. Henry Ford, innovator
I’VE WORKED AT INTEL
CORPORATION FOR 26 YEARS.
FORTUNATELY, MOST OF THOSE
YEARS HAVE BEEN FUN-FILLED WITH
CHALLENGES AND REWARDS. IT HAS
BEEN AN EVER-CHANGING WORK
ENVIRONMENT WITH A MULTITUDE
OF OPPORTUNITIES, EACH OF WHICH
HAS BEEN FUN FOR ME IN DIFFERENT
In general, fun at work for me is enjoying
what I do, doing it with people I like
interacting with, and having Intel
Corporation leadership appreciate the
value I bring to the table. This is what
gets me out of bed in the morning and
looking forward to going to work. Of
course, I do not just work for fun. (I
have never seen someone on a street cor-
ner with a sign “Will work for fun”.) My
personal job satisfaction is combined with
compensation and benefits, which com-
plete the fun package.
There are always opportunities at Intel to
learn and grow by providing coverage for
someone who is on a medical leave or
enjoying a paid sabbatical, or filling a
vacated position until the replacement is
on board. I have fun learning and trying
new things. The Intel culture and envi-
ronment supports both.
I would venture to say that employees
who say, “That’s not my job,” are not
having too much fun at work. Try taking
on new challenges—you might discover
One of Intel’s six values is “Great Place
to Work,” and a bullet under that value is
“Win and Have Fun.” In the old days,
there were more corporate-sponsored
social events, but with the expansion and
growth of Intel, the social events have
become more local and employee-moti-
vated and funded. For example, one of
my neighboring groups recently spon-
sored an Ice Cream Sundae Social that
they funded. This group extends their
social invitations to everyone on the floor
of our building, which is quite neighborly
and creates a fun networking break for all
of us. Most recently they coordinated an
afternoon Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Oh My!
Social. All invitees were encouraged to
show off their baking or shopping skills
(shopping is a skill that I have and that I
enjoy using) and bring something to
share. Folks just stop by for a short
break so there is little work time lost,
but I would venture to say that when
they return to their work space their
productivity is higher than it was
prior to the break. This group
coordinates a social the last week of
every month. It’s a simple thing,
but it’s a perfect example of this
At Intel there is a saying that every
employee is responsible for their own
employability and I think every employee
is responsible for their own fun at work
SIMPLE SOCIALS BRING FUN TO
BY JEANETTE HENDRYCH
Ready to join our team?
Apply online today for full-time and part-time positions:
The Home Depot is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. Available positions may vary by store.
FOCUS ON TEAMWORK.
The Home Depot is more than an equal opportunity
employer. We constantly look to our associates for
great ideas, and we recognize that many minds are
better than one. That’s why diversity, teamwork and
innovation continue to help The Home Depot grow
as an industry leader.
Hendrych loves ice cream socials and her granddaughter
25 Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. Aristotle, philosopher
With all the day-to-day responsibilities each of us juggle, why
would anyone want to take on even more work? For me, it’s the
extra stuff I volunteer for that keeps me motivated and makes
me feel great about my career.
We all have tasks that we aren't particularly fond of, yet we
have little choice but to do them every day. I found that when
I stuck to only what was asked of me in my sales and business
management role, my job became mundane. I knew it was
up to me to seek assignments that challenged me and kept
my role fresh and exciting.
In just the last couple of months, our company, Women For
Hire, was asked to support a job re-entry program at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, which houses
more than 1,000 women. I wasn't sure what I was getting
into, but I jumped at the chance to get out the office and do
something different that day. Little did I know that I’d have
a strong interest in the inmates and their stories of struggle. I
talked to these felons, listened to their pleas for assistance, and
developed a compassion for the challenges they’d face upon
release. The warden explained that lack of career opportunities
is the leading cause of recidivism. I knew instantly that I’d want
to do something, and more importantly, I realized that I
could do something.
I compiled a resource guide exclusively for these women.
It includes tips on job searching and details on local organiza-
tions specializing in re-entry services. I respond to all of the
letters we now receive from inmates and I include this valuable
packet of information.
Beyond that, I took the lead on managing the screening
process for selecting women in the New York area to participate
in a program we’ve launched to assist with re-entry after
significant gaps in employment. As I sifted through hundreds
of applications and interviewed women about their interest and
eligibility for participation, I found the days flying by. I
became so attached to the do-good aspect of project that it
didn’t feel like work.
New opportunities to get involved surface every day, but it’s up
to me to seize the challenge. I encourage our interns and all of
my co-workers to do the same—no matter how high their plates
are already piled. Even though the organized chaos of our nor-
mal routine is more than enough to keep us busy, nothing
replaces the pure joy of helping others and learning something
new at the same time. It’s incredibly satisfying that in any given
week I’m able to assist another woman with her career goals,
stretch my mind in new ways, successfully complete my respon-
sibilities, and laugh with colleagues every step of the way.
STEP UP FOR
DO AS DONIKOWSKI DOES:
• VOLUNTEER FOR A PROJECT.
• TACKLE A MEANINGFUL TASK.
• HEAD A COMMITTEE.
• RECRUIT OTHER PARTICIPANTS.
27 The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. Arnold Toynbee, historian
Flying Boeing 737s, schlepping luggage,
directing air traffic, running a major air-
line—and these women do it all with
ease! It’s hardly a man’s-only world at
low-fare leader Southwest Airlines. Well-
known for its unique formula for prof-
itability and excellence from its diverse
workforce, Southwest has set a standard
for working women everywhere—prov-
ing that hard work combined with a fun-
loving culture can empower anyone to
shatter the proverbial glass ceiling.
With over 15,000 women in its employ,
including nearly 1,200 in supervisory
positions and 160 pilots, the women of
Southwest have come a long way from
“coffee, tea or me?” They have enabled
Southwest to spread its wings and fly
from its humble beginnings in 1971 to its
commanding presence today. And these
women have not only seen and done it
all; they’ve had a lot of fun doing it.
The company encourages all employees
to offer their own unique brand of cus-
tomer service—whether that means play-
ing trivia games in the gate area, passing
a roll of toilet paper from the front of the
plane to the back without breaking it, ini-
tiating a biggest-hole-in-the-sock compe-
tition, singing, or telling jokes.
Employees are empowered to do whatev-
er comes naturally to them.
“On an afternoon flight full of business-
men in suits, we recruited two men to
pass out peanuts,” recalls veteran flight
attendant Brenda Gruslin. “They were so
eager and excited. They had so much
While some employees such as Gruslin
continue to enjoy their original company
positions, others have climbed the
Southwest corporate ladder. Southwest
president Colleen Barrett knows first-
hand the rigors and joys of working one’s
way to the top.
She was introduced to the airline through
her then-boss, Southwest co-founder Herb
Kelleher, when she was his legal secre-
tary. When Kelleher took the helm of
Southwest after serving as legal counsel
during the airline’s formative years,
Barrett went along. From Kelleher’s
executive assistant, Barrett became
Southwest’s Corporate Secretary, Vice
President of Administration, Executive
Vice President Customers and finally
Company President in 2001. While much
of her success at Southwest is owed to
her perseverance and dedication, Barrett
attributes her love for her career to the
people she works with.
“[My favorite Southwest customer service
experience was] watching my fellow
employees work their hearts, souls and
guts out during what seemed like insur-
mountable odds and still manage to have
our customers walk away with a smile
because they knew we cared about them,”
says Barrett, adding that “pride, love and
a passion for the Southwest culture and
family” keep her experience with the air-
line fresh 35 years later.
She is largely given credit for the culture
of Southwest Airlines and firmly believes
in mixing fun with work.
It is not unusual at Southwest to have
Friday afternoon parties on the deck of
the airline's Love Field headquarters
building overlooking Love Field or for
employees to gather at an airplane hangar
for a pep-rally and party. Employees are
encouraged to dress casually (yes, that
means sneakers, t-shirts, and shorts in
warm months) and to bring their person-
alities to work. There are Fourth of July
parades in the hallways, a volleyball court
built by employees, and picnic areas to
enjoy at headquarters. Employees who
respond to customer letters are encour-
aged to use humor when appropriate, and
many customers have even become pen
pals. There are appreciation lunches,
breakfasts, and ice cream socials—and a
great deal of recognition events where
one team travels to another city to express
thanks in a special way to another team.
For more information on Southwest’s
culture, visit southwest.com.
WOMEN WITH WINGS
BY JENNIFER HANSEN
Barrett spreads smiles and success
29 It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction. Pablo Picasso, artist
I have a confession to make: I'm a craft
junkie. If I go to buy beading wire, I'll
leave the store with rubber stamps, soap-
making supplies, and God knows what
else. At a tag sale, I'm the crazy one grab-
bing the old buttons. Keep me away from
fabric stores, yarn shops, and paperies—
too dangerous. Luckily, I have a friend
who is as fascinated by crafts as I am.
She gets a thrill out of perusing my craft
stash and reveling in my clutter.
One day after surveying my collection of
supplies, Fiona suggested we should actu-
ally use this stuff. We started making jew-
elry, since we both had tons of extra
beads lying around. We'd get together
after work—by day I’m a publicist, she’s
a substitute teacher. Fiona would bring
her kids to play with mine; we'd feed
them dinner, start them on their home-
work, and get down to business. I turned
my dining room into a makeshift craft
room. We made necklaces of all shapes
and lengths—delicate silk-strung lariats,
chunky multi-strand numbers, intricate
beaded flower creations.
One evening—one of our many eight-to-
eleven sessions—we were working on a
chunky necklace, and we started thinking
how nice it would look as a handbag
strap. Before you know it, we had
whisked away the beads and hauled out
our sewing machines. I had a huge stash
of fabrics, so we sorted through to see
which designs would lend themselves to
purses. Instead of just copying patterns,
we decided to create our own. With each
bag that we made, we'd discover things
that we should do a little differently with
the next one. Eventually, we ended up
with seven great styles of bags and
launched Sadie Pulitzer Handbags online
We now needed to decide what to do with
all of our handcrafted treasures. Given as
gifts, our stuff had elicited a rave
response. Friends kept saying we should
open a shop, but a retail venture was of
no interest. But, what if we could have a
shop at home? That would be more man-
ageable and more fun. We came up with
the idea of hosting a pre-Mother's Day
Gift Sale. We'd sell our items and encour-
age other like-minded women to sell their
wares, too. It would also be a great
excuse to reconnect with friends. We'd
hold it during the weekend so the hus-
bands could watch the kids, and we’d
serve baked goodies and punch (alco-
holic, of course). It was easy to morph
my dining room into a boutique.
When we approached our friends about
selling their crafts, they were thrilled with
the idea. Inga would sell her pottery;
Susie would make funky marble magnets;
Lisa would offer hand-painted note cards;
and Haruna would take orders for hand-
sewn children's clothing. It was shaping
up to be a wonderful social link for a
group of women with common interests,
but who had never crossed paths in this
Invitations went out to family, friends,
neighbors, classmates, colleagues, and
more. We worked furiously on a plethora
of crafty gifts: greeting cards, sexy
aprons, soaps, embroidered baby items,
and more. As the date of the party
approached, we became nervous that no
one would show, but by Sunday after-
noon, we'd hosted several hundred peo-
ple, had a good giggle, drank a lot of
punch, and made a nice profit to boot.
Now we can’t wait until Christmas to do
CRAFTING FOR FUN AND
PROFIT WITH TWO LADIES
OF THE NIGHT
BY JENNIFER BALLOT
BALLOT’S BEST ADVICE FOR STARTING YOUR OWN MINI ENTERPRISE
1. THINK OF AN AREA THAT TRULY INTERESTS YOU. UNLESS IT’S SOMETHING YOU ENJOY IT WILL
BECOME A CHORE, AND WE ALL HAVE ENOUGH OF THOSE.
2. FIND A PAL TO WORK WITH. SHE DOESN'T NEED TO BE A CHILDHOOD FRIEND; IN FACT IT’S A
GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO FORGE NEW FRIENDSHIPS.
3. TAKE YOUR TIME, ENJOY THE JOURNEY. ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY AND APPROACHING THIS
AS AN EXPERIMENTAL LEARNING PROCESS WILL HELP YOU AVOID FEELING TOO PRESSURED.
Different perspectives generate fresh ideas. That’s why at Bank of the West, we value
diversity of gender and equal opportunity for our female employees. Year after year,
we continue to grow stronger thanks to our unique blend of people. After all, in today’s
competitive banking environment, it is our employees with innovative ideas that keep
us a step ahead of the rest.
AT BANK OF THE WEST,
WE VALUE THE INDIVIDUAL.
AT BANK OF THE WEST,
WE VALUE THE INDIVIDUAL.
AT BANK OF THE WEST,
WE VALUE THE INDIVIDUAL.
BANK OF THE WEST
31 Laughter is by definition healthy. Doris Lessing, novelist
SALUTES OUR ADVERTISERS…AND WE HOPE YOU WILL TOO.
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At best, work is a fulfilling, stimulating outlet in an otherwise
full life; at worst, it’s a necessary evil that pays the bills. Either
way, there’s no reason why the workplace can’t be fun. Here at
Knock Knock, we take our work seriously, but we try not to take
ourselves seriously. If there’s a way to cover all our productivity
bases and have a good time, I believe we’re all the better for it.
Knock Knock’s stock-in-trade is humor, so our meetings are
filled with joking. We develop our ideas by riffing off one
another, encouraging the free association and snappy interjec-
tions that promote creativity. One of my pet peeves is overly
long meetings, so I encourage everybody to be prepared before
we meet, then I move through the functional things quickly—
which leaves us time to joke between the agenda items. This
often includes a humorous red herring, such as “discover the
meaning of life” after “qualify sales leads.” I believe that humor
keeps everybody alert, attentive, and sharp during what can
easily turn into a snooze-fest.
We also play jokes on each other, developing a running archive
of humorous memories that unite us as a team. Because we’re a
graphic design firm, our jokes often evolve into fake magazine
covers, awards, mugshots, or photographic alterations. Much of
our communication takes the form of silly notes that also trans-
mit necessary information.
People who laugh together gel into a community based on
shared culture—water-cooler culture, you could say. Employees
who feel woven into the fabric of a community support each
other and collaborate more effectively. As an employer, I believe
it’s important even to make fun of the workplace—the environ-
ment where we spend more waking hours than anywhere else. If
there are sacred cows in an office, stress, anxiety, and secrets
aren’t too far behind. With the unavoidable pressures of dead-
lines, bosses, finances, vendors, customers, and co-workers,
humor provides a welcome escape valve and can sometimes
reveal necessary truths.
Many of Knock Knock’s products derive from our own
experiences of fun in the workplace. The Life Awards lampoon
empty motivational materials and promote gentle teasing with
their interchangeable plaques: colleagues can pass trophies
to one another (celebrating real-life office achievements) as
well as broadcast their moods. The Corporate Flashcards take
aim at office culture. Co-workers might identify with particular
terms, displaying them like comics on a bulletin board or
office door. Or they can gently rib others for their use and
abuse of corporate lingo.
So much of work revolves around communication—memos,
e-mail, phone messages. In school, passing notes in class
was so much fun that we got in trouble for it, but in the
workplace, interoffice correspondence is usually unnecessarily
serious. Because Knock Knock’s own office communication
generally includes an extra helping of humor, we’ve created
pads and sticky notes (including our multiple-choice “Cubicle
Notes” series) that facilitate necessary functional communication
with a twist.
When asked why they enjoy their jobs, most people cite the
sociability of the workplace. Work is ultimately about communi-
cation and human interaction, and exchanges that contain humor
are far more likely to be remembered than dull, dry expressions
of professionalism. Yes, some things have to be serious.
Contracts have to be serious. Letters to new clients usually have
to be serious. If you’re nervous about this whole fun-in-the-
workplace thing, ask yourself, “Does this have to be serious?”
If the answer is no, it’s highly likely that your communication,
cubicle, or office door can withstand—and benefit from—
a dose of humor.
Jen Bilik is the head honcho of Knock Knock. Visit
LAUGHTER: A SERIOUS
BY JEN BILIK
Bank of the West bankofthewest.com
Best Buy bestbuy.com
Brinker International brinker.com
Coca-Cola Enterprises cokecce.com
Enterprise Rent-A-Car erac.com
Ernst & Young ey.com
GE Commercial Distribution Finance gecdf.com
Morgan Stanley morganstanley.com
NYU Medical Center nyumc.org
Real Mex Foods realmexfoods.com
The Home Depot homedepot.com
33 Nothing will work unless you do. Maya Angelou, poet
Working alone can be a blessing or a curse. The days when the
proximity of the refrigerator door is far too tempting can be frus-
trating. But when the pangs of hunger hit, if there are some good
leftovers that can be eaten cold or with only a minute of
microwave magic, that nearby fridge is fabulous and fun.
There are many days over the last two decades that writing
books and articles, designing projects or tweaking a speech for
new clients is no laughing matter. It’s lots of work. Hard work.
And editing my books? Those days are the ones where the term
work is spot on; I can certainly feel the exertion of effort and
energy to accomplish a task. Allowing fun in that kind of day
relieves the stress.
Those days when clients insist on receiving proposals, books and
tapes via FedEx—only to have them sit on a desk for months
before a decision is made—are not fun. And the paperwork?
Don’t get me started. I hate paperwork. After all, I wrote How
to Work a Room and What Do I Say Next? I didn’t write tomes
on sitting at your desk and handling projects and paperwork.
With all that being said, the last twenty-five years have been
quite the ride. One thing I do to kickstart the fun quotient is
read the paper every morning. I start with the comics. While that
is not the highbrow way, it’s usually good for at least one giggle,
chuckle, or smile which sets the tone for the day. I read newspa-
pers, magazines, and ezines looking for the irony; a juxtaposi-
tion of words, ideas or actions that make me laugh in that who-
would-believe-this way. I have a network of neat friends and
colleagues who are wonderful storytellers. They laugh and lis-
ten. Shared humor with co-workers and colleagues is curative.
Having a good sense of humor carries the day. It isn’t about
telling jokes. I am not good at that, but I can tell a story. Seek
out people who’d be interested in your stories. Repeat the
smart, funny things that other people have said. Be sure to give
Making work fun is not the responsibility of the supervisor,
manager, or co-workers. When we bring our sense of humor to
the workplace or workspace, we make our own fun. Others
have fun at work because we’re having fun and the workplace is
enjoyable because we have shared laughter.
Susan RoAne, also known as the The Mingling Maven®, is a
corporate speaker and best-selling author of How To Work a
Room®. Visit susanroane.com.
WORKING OUT OF
MY FUN HOUSE
BY SUSAN ROANE
35 Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it. Julia Child, chef
In the past year, my love of baking has
blossomed into a home-based business
known to my clientele as Cakes Plus by
Rene. Upon request I deliver delectable
desserts which include birthday cakes,
wedding cakes, mouth watering cookies,
chocolate covered strawberries, and a
plethora of southern pies.
Don't jump to conclusions. I’m not a stay-
at-home mom with kids in school looking
for something to do. My dessert business
plays second fiddle to my fulltime job as
a chemist, a position I’ve held at a local
chemical plant in Kentucky for almost
My partial metamorphosis from lab coat
to apron began a few years ago when I
began to think about the different paths
my life could take. Although I enjoy my
career, I one day hope to become a home-
maker, a wife, and a mommy. It would be
great to have a home-based business
when that time comes, so I’ve taken the
steps to lay the
foundation for this
plan. I plucked up
the courage to try
cake baking and
before it becomes
a necessity to do
so. I started by
enrolling in three
courses at my local
craft store. With the
support of my
mother, whom I
had watched baking
as I grew up, I
began to produce
delicious, custom-decorated desserts for
friends and family. It didn't take long for
word to spread and orders to come
Competition from inexpensive chain
supermarkets doesn't pose a problem for
me. I believe that attention to detail and
good communicative skills provide my
customers with the incentive to forgo the
standard dry sheet cake, even if my stuff
ends up costing a little more.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with
requests from my clients for sweets with
organic ingredients, low glycemic index
flours, and alternative sweeteners.
Anyone who has ever tried to deviate
from a recipe knows that playing with
substitutes can result in disaster, but for
me it's an opportunity to delve into the
scientific side of my personality. For me,
success in chemistry or in cooking real-
ly—excuse the pun—boils down to being
able to comprehend the interactions
between different ingredients and then
being innovative enough to give a com-
pound or concoction its own flair.
For now, I’m content to keep working by
day and baking by night, nurturing the
endeavor I hope will eventually generate
enough income for me to work exclusive-
ly from home. And this suits my co-
workers just fine. They depend on my
expertise in the workplace, and also count
on me to whip up delectable treats to
make their birthday parties, anniversaries,
and family celebrations extra fun.
Connect with Rene Higgins at cakesplus-
FROM LAB COAT TO APRON:
A KENTUCKY CHEMIST’S
BY RENE HIGGINS
FAST-TRACK MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Rent-A-Center, the largest rent-to-own company of furniture,
appliances, computers and electronics, with stores in all 50
states, Puerto Rico and Canada, has immediate Management
opportunities at its store locations in your area. These positions
are all fulltime, 5 days a week, Monday-Saturday.
Applicants must be energetic, conscientious self-starters experi-
enced working with the public. Duties include managing cus-
tomer accounts, collections, sales, and scheduling customer
services including delivery, product service and pick-up of mer-
chandise in customers’ homes. Prior retail, sales, customer serv-
ice or related experience is required. Retail or restaurant man-
agement experience required for all management positions.
The RAC benefits package includes 401K, with matching, den-
tal/health/life insurance, paid sick time, paid vacation, paid com-
pany holidays, and job training.
If you are a professional and want to take advantage of this great
opportunity for unlimited growth in a stable company, apply
today. Candidates must possess top-notch customer service
skills, excellent oral communication and listening skills; have a
high school diploma or equivalent, be at least 21 years of age, no
felony convictions, and have a valid driver’s license with good
Rent-A-Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment is
contingent upon successful completion of background investiga-
tion and pre-employment drug screening.
For immediate consideration, apply on-line at
www.rentacenter.com, or apply in person at your near-
est RAC store location. To locate your nearest RAC
store call 1-800-205-2005.
LEGAL ASSISTANT, CELANESE INTERNATIONAL
Just wanted to say thank you! I attended the Women For Hire
Career Expo in Dallas in April and I was hired by one of the
most awesome participants—Celanese. I hadn’t heard of Women
For Hire until the morning before the event. Your CEO was on
television offering advice on how to be successful at any career
expo. She ended by saying, “Wear something red!” That stood
out to me, and it paid off.
ASSISTANT SALES MANAGER, SHERWIN WILLIAMS
I attended the Women
For Hire event in
March. I met a repre-
sent in an essay, got
called in for an inter-
view, and I started
working for the com-
pany in May. I’m in
where I’ll learn about
everything from stock-
ing a store, staffing a
store, and mixing the
perfect paint! I had
been struggling with temp jobs; I am so happy to be hired by
such a great company. My faith in the job search process has
been restored with Women For Hire.
PROCUREMENT SPECIALIST, UNITED SPACE ALLIANCE
As a result of attending
the Women For Hire
event in Houston a year
ago, I was hired by
United Space Alliance. I
got my foot in the door
with a data entry position
for the flight simulator.
Once inside, I applied
for—and was accepted—
to a competitive Strategic
This incredible opportuni-
ty allows me to rotate as a
buyer, compliance ana-
lyst, subcontract adminis-
trator, and business and system analyst. Following the end of the
rotation, I will have the opportunity to move permanently to the
area that fits me well. I have never felt as fulfilled as I do now.
To be a part of the space program is itself a dream come true,
but to find my niche in corporate America after working hard in
college and finishing up a successful term in the Marines is an
CONTRACTS MANAGER, DELL
ROUND ROCK, TEXAS
I can't believe I am sitting in Round Rock, Texas now working
at Dell. When I attended your event in Atlanta in March, I wasn't
even actively looking for a job. I attended the morning seminar,
where I met one of the speakers from Dell. About two weeks
later I was offered a great job. Thanks Women For Hire.
CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS OF WOMEN WHO’VE
SECURED GREAT POSITIONS BY ATTENDING
WOMEN FOR HIRE EVENTS.
EMAIL US AT JOBS@WOMENFORHIRE.COM WITH YOUR SUCCESS STORY.
36 Nobody can be successful unless he loves his work. David Sarnoff, executive
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