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Stories by Michael Kinsman

A big and daunting proposition

Your résumé got you an interview, and you answered the questions in your job well enough to get hired. What’s next? Next is the most important step in your new job. Nothing in the past ...

February 27, 2014
The pregnant worker dilemma

Workplace discrimination comes in many forms, from the subtlest type of excluding some affected employees in work discussions to blatant racism and ageism. It’s nothing new and broad efforts over several decades at the state ...

February 13, 2014
Go find some paperclips

One of my first tasks in my first job was to scrounge paper clips from throughout my newspaper plant so my paper clip-dependent department would have enough for the entire week. Paper clips were essential, ...

January 30, 2014
Socially engaged, socially adept

Whoever said recession is the mother of invention was right. Or, they would have been, had anyone ever said that. That’s because the latest recession to hit the economy of the United States has left ...

January 16, 2014
People love people

What do you love most about your work? That’s a simple question, but you might be surprised that far-and-away the thing people love most about their work is the people they work with. They still ...

January 2, 2014
Minimum wage is becoming a local matter

It’s difficult to find anyone who really is happy with a minimum wage. The workers who receive it think it should be higher; the employers who pay it are aggravated by it; and, the legislators ...

December 19, 2013
Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow

When workers worry about today, they often forget about tomorrow. That’s what appears to be happening today as workers in a revived economy are still reluctant to set aside more money for retirement. In a ...

December 5, 2013
Diversity dilemma

Everyone knows that good intentions only go so far, and not very far at that. So it doesn’t sound surprising to learn that executives think having a diverse workforce that is inclusive of people from ...

November 21, 2013
It’s risky to stifle risk

Years ago, I worked at a company that didn’t have the most progressive management. In fact, it often seemed to be backward to me. I soon noticed that no one really felt good about working ...

November 7, 2013
Training new workers is expensive

Fact No. 1: 19 million American workers expect to change jobs in the next year. That’s 13.3 percent of the country’s workforce. Fact No. 2: The average wage of U.S. workers was $42,979 per year, ...

October 24, 2013
The entrepreneur problem

The beauty and joy of starting your own business might turn out to be an ugly blemish if you are older and fail. Increasingly, it is more difficult for workers ages 55-plus to re-enter the ...

October 10, 2013
Career obstacles...and how to overcome them

We all face obstacles in our jobs and careers. Some of those obstacles can be paralyzing. They lock some of us into a lifetime of frustration, lack of satisfaction, or just plain misery. Think about ...

September 26, 2013
Go team

For more than a decade, I was a player/manager of a men’s baseball team, a collection of former minor leaguers, college players and a few former high school benchwarmers. It was a pretty serious endeavor ...

September 12, 2013
You're fired!

One of the worst days in anyone’s work life is the day they get fired or laid-off. They have no idea that tomorrow can be a worse day. Why? Because the day-after is the day ...

The carrot or the stick

The crisis of obesity and related healthcare costs that is hurtling toward us faster than the speed of sound has employers nationwide scratching their heads over how to combat this double-edged problem. Company-sponsored wellness programs ...

August 14, 2013
Depression is an ugly disease

For more than a decade, I worked in a building in which I would frequently share an elevator with a particular middle-aged woman. She never spoke to me, nor looked in my direction. She avoided ...

August 1, 2013
The real company policy might not be the official company policy

“These policies are on the books, but informally everyone knows you are penalized for using them.”

A bad manager

I’ve always believed that hiring is the most important job any manager has. When you hire the right employees, you increase your chances for success. Hire enough of them and your company will be pretty ...

July 4, 2013
Want to motivate your employees?

There may be no more exciting moment for a business owner or executive than to see your employees fully engaged in their jobs, creatively and enthusiastically looking for ways to be more efficient. This is ...

Jackie Robinson's true legacy

Jackie Robinson is an MVP once again, more than six decades after he broke baseball’s color barrier and became the most valuable player in the National League. Robinson died in 1972, yet he casts every ...

Compassion and the bottom line

Compassion isn’t a word that is easily digested in the business world. More often, we like to define our businesses as results-oriented, hard-driving and able to steamroll any obstacles that stand in the way of ...

Employers will hire more college graduates this year

Nothing seems to come easy for college graduates these days. Not only do they face the highest tuitions in history, but the job market hasn’t been as welcoming in recent years as they hoped. Now ...

May 9, 2013
A return to liberal arts

Some employers today are not happy with the quality of college graduates who show up on their doorsteps. They say the college graduates usually possess the technical skills they need to land a job but ...

April 25, 2013
The Internet knows more than you do

Today’s pop quiz: How many planets in the solar system? Is it eight or nine? Is Pluto in or out? Or how many elements are there on a periodic table? Those used to be simple ...

April 11, 2013
The generation gap narrows

The workplace generational gap appears to be shrinking – at least among some of the youngest and oldest workers. A new survey by Randstad, a global provider of human resource services, notes the unusual connections ...

Should colleges train the workforce?

It is pretty easy to write a simple, declarative sentence without thinking too much. But it isn’t always as simple to write a sentence that communicates an idea that is easily understood by the reader. ...

March 14, 2013
Ambition gone wild

I used to work with a goofy guy who was so restless in his job that he used to apply for nearly every position that came open in our company. It didn’t matter to him ...

The importance of global awareness

The woman’s plea over a social network was clear and to the point: “I am going to Saudi Arabia on business and I need to find someone who can tell me how women have to ...

Raises for women!

You have to ask directly

Workers’ patience has run out

After years of clinging to jobs, workers are expected to seek better employment.

January 23, 2013
Workplace changes to look for in 2013

This will be the year that employers are forced to decide whether they value their workforce enough to invest in it.

January 1, 2013
Nevermind the Resolutions — Set Goals and Deadlines

You’ll need to commit to a deadline. This is going to be the true measure of your goal.

December 20, 2012
Do You Say We, or They?

How you talk about your employer says a lot about how you like your work.

December 4, 2012
Trapped? Stressed? Burned out?

Sometimes, having a job is not all it’s cracked up to be. Just look at the findings of ComPsych’s survey of 2,000 employees. It reports more workers than ever claiming signs of job burnout. According ...

November 25, 2012
Think Before You Reveal Too Much About Yourself

You might find that you’ve shared information that doesn’t sit well with the boss.

November 9, 2012
Five College Majors Which Don’t Pay

Ivory tower educators tell us that you should not go to college just to enhance your career-earning power. Yet, most of us don’t reside in ivory towers. Reality in the United States dictates that people ...

October 25, 2012
The Fine Line Between Confidence and Overconfidence

Can you believe yourself into a success, or at least a role as a leader? Yes, you can, if you believe a study out of the University of California’s Haas School of Business. The study ...

October 16, 2012
Angel, Enforcer, Philosopher… Which One Are You?

A survey suggests that you can have a separate set of morals for working than living.

October 2, 2012
Good for You, Good for Your Employer

What would you think if you looked at your paycheck this week to find that your employer had paid you in Kazakhstani tenges instead of U.S. dollars? Even though tenges are a legitimate currency on ...

September 28, 2012
Lost Your Job? Relax.

Even though most people have looked for work in recent years, it makes sense that some have no idea where to begin the job search.

August 30, 2012
Study Finds Paying for Sick Leave Saves Employers Money

By now, most workers realize that paid sick leave is a valuable workplace benefit that is no longer guaranteed by many employers. Reducing or eliminating sick-leave allotments has become increasingly common as employers over the ...

August 20, 2012
Survey Reveals the Prevalence of Illegal Practices Among Finance Pros

A report from Wall Street indicates there is a shocking lack of integrity among the workers in financial firms. The survey of 500 senior finance professionals in firms in the United States and Great Britain ...

August 5, 2012
Give Wellness a Chance

If you are wondering whether your employer really cares about your health and wellbeing, I have good and bad news. First, the good news. A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management shows ...

August 3, 2012
Toxic Beliefs That Lead To Personal Failure

In his book As a Man Thinketh, philosopher James Allen says that one is what one thinks, with character being the complete sum of all one’s thoughts. And upon analysis, one wonders how those thoughts ...

July 9, 2012
Interview Your Interviewer: Eight Questions You Should Ask

Job interviews — as most people have witnessed — can be harrowing experiences. No matter how bright or successful you appear to be on a resume, you are vulnerable when you are confronted with a ...

Don’t Hit “Reply to All”

Some middle managers complain that they dedicate 2.5 hours every day to dealing with their email.

The Power of Positive Feedback

No one enjoys making mistakes in day-to-day job duties, but mistakes do happen, and it never seems to get any easier to accept them. Perhaps the reason for that is because every mistake you make ...

This Is No Job For Wimps

Every year about this time, I get kind of a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s the time of the year that tens of thousands of young people will be looking for ...

May 24, 2012
The Revolution Has Been Delayed

Telecommuting is the great work innovation that never took hold. For more than a quarter century, study after study has reported that many American workers would prefer to work from home at least part of ...

Are Employers Becoming More Flexible?

There’s nothing like a tough economy to get employers to remember that their employees are people, too. That’s the underlying theme that emerges from a new study of the nation’s employers by the Families and ...

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