Jun 05

Disconnecting From Work


How many times throughout the day do you check your email? Once when you get in to the office in the morning? Throughout the entire work day? All the way up until you lay down to fall asleep? A recent study showed that workers who have smartphones are on them at least 13.5 hours a day and five hours on the weekend. With our incessant need to have our phones handy at all times, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that 38% of workers check email “routinely” at the dinner table and 50% check before going to bed.

On the surface, getting extra hours of work from an employee seems like a great deal for companies who provide smartphones, laptops or tablets, but in reality it can also be counterproductive. Sherry Turkle, a professor at MIT who studies how devices are redefining communication, points out that our constant need to check email causes us to become transactional instead of inspirational. She believes that companies should encourage employees to unplug and that there are already innovative businesses that are setting the new precedent.

Bandwidth, a fast-growing telecom company in Raleigh, NC is one of many companies moving towards improving after-hour work expectations. The company offers its nearly 400 employees a unique perk in the form of guaranteed time to unplug. The company has implemented a strictly enforced vacation embargo policy that bars any contact with employees while they are off. Leaders of the company state that the policy allows people to fully value their time off and be present with family and friends outside of the office.

Some other companies that are catching on to the idea of recharging and retaining talent include a New York start-up called Quirky, who closes their office for a week three times a year and implements an email “blackout period,” and Boston Consulting Group who guarantees one email-free evening a week for all of its consultants.

Companies are beginning to recognize that the constant connection with employees can cause valuable workers to leave or burn out. Though it is a hard habit to break, start trying to implement some appropriate times in your day in which you briefly disconnect and take a break. Putting your smartphone away and investing in your time away from work can boost overall career happiness and give you a much needed mental break.

Aug 20

How Much is Too Much on a Resume?

Whenever you send out a resume, your primary hope is that someone will call you back with a job. That’s the endgame ever job seeker has in mind. Most want to skip the interview process altogether and pass go and collect their $200 thousand a year payday (‘Monopoly’ is so out of date).

But to get that call, you have to put your phone number on your resume. And since you never want to lose a job by NOT being available, you put your physical address, your cell phone number, your email, your Facebook in case they want to message you, your Yahoo! instant messenger that you haven’t used since college, you AIM you haven’t used since high school, the number to your neighbor’s house just in case you’re inexplicably next door borrowing a cup of sugar. Everything except for your current work number because you don’t want them knowing you’re looking for a better paying job where your boss doesn’t blame you for things he’s never asked you to do.

But, is that too much? Is that information overload? Why would you want to put less contact info on there?

Or, more specifically: why wouldn’t you put all of that on there?

Two words: identity theft. One word: scam. Hyphenated word: rip-off. They’re all bad things.

As much as you want to control where your resume goes, once it goes out into the world it could end up literally anywhere. With anyone. If you post it on a site that allows paid access to the resume database, it will go everywhere.

So, calm down. A good, solid contact number is all you need. Employers typically don’t just call once and give up. They’ll leave a message. They want to talk to you.

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