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My sister lives in Houston, and many of you have asked if she’s fine. Short answer: Yes. She’s safe. It’s been a stressful few days for our family, but nothing compared to what she’s experiencing. And, since she has the capacity and a bigger heart than her older sister, some extra people and dogs are staying with her.

Tragedy brings out the best in some people, which is why I’m hoping my colleagues in human resources all over America start thinking about how they can assist the residents of Texas once the immediate tragedy subsides.

HR can save the day. Here are some ideas.

Pay people for as long as you can.

    Most Americans don’t earn enough to cover a $500 home repair, let alone a flood that wipes out their entire existence. And, yet, the individuals who have the least give are giving the most. If you work for a major corporation, give everything you can and pay people for as long as you can. Especially those retail and restaurant workers. Continue your direct deposits as if nothing has happened. When the water recedes, write checks and hand out cash to employees without bank accounts. Can’t afford to pay people who aren’t working? Ask executives to forgo bonuses and pay people to stay home and clean up their lives. Don’t demand anything in return. It’s the kind of investment that pays dividends down the road.

Double down on remote work and transfers.

    The best antidote for personal pain is the distraction of a good and meaningful job. After a tragedy like Harvey, some families will have no choice but to move in with relatives and friends all over America. If you can accommodate remote work, do it. If you can transfer somebody from one retail or restaurant unit to another, make it happen. Give people something to do other than obsessing about what they’ve just lost.

Think creatively about PTO.

    We all know that unlimited PTO is a lie. But people are going to need some time off. Daycare and eldercare are disrupted. School schedules are jacked up. Somewhere between a total free-for-all and a coal mine, you should give your workers space and freedom to take care of personal issues. If you don’t let your people address the logistics challenges in their lives, small problems can turn into ongoing nightmares and stressful mental health challenges.

I’m not saying that the entire function of HR should stop what it’s doing and rush to the aid of flood victims in Texas, mostly because we have no idea what some of these individuals will need in the days and weeks to come. But when it’s possible to implement humane policies proactively, you should do it.

Tomorrow is too late. Start today. Harvey is an opportunity to show the growth of your industry and doubling down on the “human” part of human resources.

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At some point, I’ll get back to work and start writing. But not now.

Instead, I wanted to pause for a moment and reflect on Huge Inc’s summer reading recommendations. It’s heady and interesting and full of books I’ll never read because I’m not feeling very clever.

So, because I’m definitely not going to read books about AI at the beach, I wanted to share my summer book review. Actually, strike that, reviews. Plural. There are a few.

Mrs. Fletcher • NPR called this book raunchy. It’s about a middle-aged woman and her son, and it’s not for everybody. Do you like stories about college-age boys, sexuality, and MILFs? Who doesn’t! There are some laugh-out-loud moments and, also, some poignant moments. I liked this book a lot. It has a huge heart.

 

The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder • Want to read a childhood memoir and a crime story all rolled up together? Sure you do because there are strippers. Well, one stripper. And she’s more than just a stripper. She’s a daughter and a friend. Parts of this book made me cry, and there’s a link back to a suburb of Chicago that’s interesting.

 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel • I’ve never read a crime book in my life, and suddenly my summer reading list intersects with dark stories. This book is more than just crime. It’s about family and a strong woman who doesn’t fall into stereotypes. Weird to say that I enjoyed this book, but I did. Takes place in Denver and made me think of Mary Faulkner.

 

The Impossible Vastness of Us • I have no idea where I picked up this book recommendation. It’s YA romance. I’m not gonna lie, I sort of loved it. There’s a character named India Maxwell, and I gave it a 50-50 chance that she would be a damaged teenager on drugs. Turns out, that’s not part of the plot. Also, shockingly, there is a plot and character development. It’s good!

 

The Glass Castle: A Memoir • I had resisted reading this book for years because it looked like a downer. Guess what? I was right. I didn’t finish it because I don’t want to be depressed.

 

The Reason You’re Alive: A Novel • Is this my favorite book of the summer? Yes, I think so. It’s about a Vietnam Vet who’s telling the story of his life, which sounds horrible. Hang with it. The narrator is the kind of guy you’d associate as a “Trump voter,” if you know what I mean. Racist. Sexist. But also surprisingly human and compassionate. This book will challenge you to think about people differently. Also, the lines about the Dutch are priceless.

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel • If you want good life advice, read everything Brianna and Tara tell you to read. When they told me to read this book, I wasn’t sure it was for me. I finished the book in less than two days. It was excellent, and the narrator is a mixed-race millennial feminist. Booyah.

 

Borne: A Novel • If there’s one book that surprised me, this summer, it’s Borne. You’ve got a kickass black woman named Rachel in a dystopian world who’s immersed in a bunch of sci-fi shit that makes no sense to me. What happened here? Where did these monsters come from? Yet, this book was awesome. Super happy that I decided to suspend my cynical and judgy attitude and gave this story a shot. Totally worth my time and yours.

I also read a bunch of business books that, as the literary critics say, were boring as fuck and not very helpful. Who wants to think fast and slow? Who wants to improve their EQ and IQ? The answer is nobody. Nobody reads that junk and walks away thinking, “Damn, my life is better.”

Nope.

If anything, this summer has made me grateful for fiction. Lots of turmoil and anxiety in the world. Thank goodness for novels!

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Wake County Gov Pets | Mary Sanderson (154874)Years ago, my husband and I moved from Chicago to a tiny city in Michigan for his job. We said yes because we couldn’t say no. The Chicago site was shutting down, and the relocation offer was also a promotion. In fact, my husband’s HR guy was the one who convinced us that it was a good idea.

(That HR guy is now a nurse. Thanks for nothing, Steve!)

So, we packed our two cats and moved in November. We later learned that it’s the beginning of six months of frigid temperatures and gray skies. Kalamazoo only gets about 65 days of sunshine, and, to make matters worse, we moved inside of a snow belt. Our first winter was wondrous, but the next three years were pretty rough.

You know what got me through those endless winters? Volunteering with cats and dogs. Spending time with animals was a lifeline. I was a foster parent and event planner. For a short and unsuccessful time, I was a board member. We also picked up three cats of our own.

I was burned out on animal rescue work by the time we moved to North Carolina. No offense, but the general public is filled with idiots who vote against the government and yet also expect the government to take unwanted pets when they’re done with the animals. It’s super frustrating, and I have a whole diatribe on this, but the short version is that I needed a break.

Although lately I’ve got some time on my hands, and I have an iPhone that brings me reader complaints and offensive tweets from guys who think today is the day I woke up stupid. Why not turn my digital addiction into something positive?

So, I’m going back to my roots and volunteering at Wake County Animal Center. My official volunteer title is Feline Paparazzi, and I’m using my iPhone to take cat photos. Why not? What the hell else am I doing?

My real goal is to learn how to walk and bathe dogs, but I want to make sure that I commit to something that I can handle. That’s why I’m setting a short-term goal: 10 hours of volunteering with cats, and then I’ll assess whether or not I can also contribute to the dog team. I’m already close to meeting that goal.

I can’t fix the animal overpopulation problem — just like I can’t fix your stupid cousin who bought a designer dog — but I can do my small part to get these cats adopted. And, in going back to my roots, I remember what it was like to be a stranger in a new town who could’ve been codependent on her husband but, instead, chose to do something valuable on her own.

I used to be brave. I forgot about that.

There’s something to be said for looking to the past for answers to today’s challenges. For me, the answer always starts with volunteering.

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“What’s next, Laurie?”

People want to know what’s next for me, and the answer is that I’m not sure. I’ve killed my startup, but I haven’t killed the idea that companies can avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. What keeps me up at night? How often I spoke to project managers and leaders who said, “I hate work.”

The truth is, I also hate work. The ambiguity. The politics. The meaningless tasks that are important to someone up the command hierarchy but don’t move the business forward. So, I started digging deeper. What’s missing from work? What are the essential components of a meaningful workplace?

It turns out, there are seven. If your company gets four of them right, you’re serving your team well.

    Community. Sometimes a job is just a job, but without a human-to-human connection, it’s a prison sentence. Many workers don’t interact with colleagues or customers on a daily basis. When they do, it’s on Slack or in meetings where nothing is ever accomplished. I think there’s an opportunity for organizations to differentiate themselves by doubling-down on volunteerism, community engagement, employee-run customer advisory boards, and all the initiatives that fall under corporate social responsibility. Community can be a crucial component of a smart and successful employer branding strategy.
    Fulfillment. Not every company is Google, but even small-time companies with cubicles and Windows NT laptops can offer fulfilling work experiences. As a leader, it’s your job to create an environment where words like “creativity” and “autonomy” aren’t forbidden. And, when you commit to creating a fulfilling environment, I think you’ll do what it takes to attract and retain the best talent. That includes signing on to the principles of fair pay, competitive PTO practices, and inventive total rewards packages.
    Diversity. Maybe your company has never hired a bi-racial individual who chooses to identify with a set of pronouns that makes people uncomfortable. Maybe your organization employs fewer old white men, and you don’t have any veterans on your payroll. I’m not sure what you’re waiting for when it comes to diversity, but nearly 45% of Millennials identify themselves as something other than “white.” Examine your organization’s biases, look at your workforce versus the American population, and close the gap.
    Advancement. It’s all fun and games for your employees until it’s time for an annual performance review and they’ve maxed out at the top of the pay grade. If managers aren’t leaving and there’s nowhere to go, your organization needs a continuous learning strategy. Job shadowing and career-pathing are two key strategies for Millennials and Gen Z that can apply to any demographic in the workforce. A workforce that isn’t learning is dying, and nobody wants to work for a declining company.
    Fluidity. Sometimes labels matter, and sometimes labels get in the way of work. When companies start having fluid conversations with employees, outcomes matter more than identity. Is your best employee suddenly pregnant? Did your best supervisor’s wife leave him? Does your CFO’s dog have kennel cough? Fluid work environments allow for life to happen without significant career hiccups, but they also require an employer-led commitment to work-life balance initiatives and diversity.
    Transparency. I’m struck by just how many educated people feel blindsided on a regular basis at work. The scope of a job changed. Project parameters shifted. The boss never clued you in. Your GM changed her mind and the meeting-after-the-meeting altered everything. It’s really frustrating, right? A friend of mine told me that chimpanzees are happiest when they have clear social hierarchies and know where they stand. Sometimes I’m not sure if humans are more evolved than chimps, but I do think there’s something to be said for explicit and honest communication in the modern work environment. The case for transparency is made when you look at the amount of time and money wasted when people don’t say what needs to be said.
    Legacy. You’re more than just an employee ID number or a figure on a spreadsheet. You’re an individual who matters. You matter to me, anyway. What you do for a living has some purpose in this world, even if it’s not immediately clear. The best organizations know that people can’t just show up to work and blindly tow the company line. Employees need a purpose that extends beyond themselves, and the best work environments offer people the opportunity to create a legacy that goes beyond a time clock.

So, just to recap, here are my seven components of a great work environment: community, fulfillment, diversity, advancement, fluidity, transparency, and legacy. If you can identify your core four and make a radical commitment to a meaningful workplace, your organization’s investment will pay dividends for years to come.

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I took a call on a late Wednesday afternoon because I was feeling lonely and disconnected from the world. I haven’t been on the road much in 2017 because I’ve been working on GlitchPath. When I’m not working, I’m doing quiet things like visiting sunflower patches or going to the beach by myself.

When a colleague wanted to catch-up on life, I decided to overcome my aversion to the phone and make an effort to be social.

The call started out straightforward enough. Small talk about the weather, families, work and volunteer activities. You know the drill. Then it came time for me to contribute something interesting to the conversation, and I geared up to talk about the nuanced position of my startup.

Namely, we’re fighting record job dissatisfaction and a flood of business tools in the marketplace. About 70% of people hate their jobs, and roughly 17% are actively disengaged and okay with sabotaging their work environments. It means that about one in every five employees steals food from the refrigerator.

(Is that you?)

Of the remaining 30% who might demonstrate some effort at the office, only a fraction feel that — even if the stars were all aligned and the odds were ever in their favor — they could beat failure. The biggest force of failure in the office? Misaligned expectations. If you’re still using Microsoft Excel and email to communicate and complete projects, which is what our research also showed us, are you honestly going to use a cloud-based platform to collaborate and beat failure?

(Not right now, you’re not.)

I was going to tell my colleague how I’m pausing GlitchPath and ending my investment. But that’s when he said, “I just want you to be successful at something.”

Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I want to be successful at something, too. It sucks to fail. And, for a moment, I forgot that far too many of us see success and failure as opposite sides of the same coin. There’s money in the bank, or there isn’t. The software works, or it doesn’t. You either have the votes, or you don’t.

(Except, you know, that’s not always correct.)

So, I clammed up and said that everything was fine. It’s not a lie. Nobody died. However, I am ending this run because I’ve learned that no amount of code or fancy design will overcome the challenges of an immature idea that’s not ready for the market.

GlitchPath isn’t ready. I’m not the woman to bring this version of the product to market. I’m can’t make fetch happen. 

Does that make me a failure? Well, yes. Totally. I haven’t succeeded. That’s the very definition of failure. When you don’t reach your intended goals and objectives, you have failed. Therefore, I’ve failed. But I’m not despondent or jumping off a bridge. I’m pivoting and trying to figure out what’s next.

Does it sting? Heck yeah. But you know what else hurts? Being attached to something that isn’t going to work. To beat failure, you have to see failure. And I see it. It’s time to move forward and work on something new.

One of my advisors challenged me to write a list of the things I’ve learned from my experience over the past 18 months, and I’ll publish that list soon. Regardless, I have a viable future ahead of me. I’m excited to keep thinking about why work sucks and why projects fail. Who knows, one day I might strike gold and be good at something.

But GlitchPath isn’t it.

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Every time I think about ranking something in my life, I think about Steve Boese.

For years, he’s ranked everything from The Outsiders characters to the Founding Fathers to upgrades on airlines. If you want to know where something stands, chances are he’s written a blog post about it. Ranking things? Well, it falls squarely within the purview of Steve Boese.

So, last week, I’m in the basement reflecting on cat litter. Over the past 42 years, I’ve used just about every brand on the market. Clay. Crystal. Wheat. Newspaper. You name it, my cats have peed on it.

I’m pretty sure Steve has never ranked anything related to cats, so I offer for your consideration this unresearched, incomplete, unscientific, completely subjective, and 100% accurate list of cat litter.

10. sWheat Scoop. All kittens should use wheat-, corn- or newspaper-based litter for potty training; however, once they graduate to clay litter, they never go back. Wheat litter is better for the environment and has barely any dust, but I couldn’t bribe my adult cats to use this litter for all the tuna in the world.

9. World’s Best Cat Litter. It’s number 9, so you can see that it’s not the world’s best. I tried to get my cats to convert by using good old fashioned trickery. I stuck some of their existing urine clumps and poop in a new box of this litter. I think Molly gave it a try, but the rest were wholly unimpressed.

8. Yesterday’s News. Newspaper litter is just cool to see, but like its predecessors, it’s useless for my adult cats. Ain’t nobody got time to pee on pellets.

7. ExquisiCat® Micro Crystals. Crystal cat litter is interesting because it absorbs a lot of urine. Unfortunately, it’s expensive, and you have to use a lot for the cats to bury their poop under the crystals. I’m not a fan, and neither are most of my cats. They’ll use it, but they aren’t happy about it.

6. Boots & Barkley Scoopable Litter. As far as scoopable litters go, clay-based litter is pretty much the same everywhere. If you’re going to use a scoopable litter, use something without a scent. We liked this Target brand except that it is super-clumping and gave my cat, Jake, a condition called cement shoes. The cat litter sticks to his paws, and he can’t clean himself enough to get rid of it. It forms a hard shell on the bottom of his foot. So we had to give it up.

5. Precious Cat Dr. Elsey’s Senior Cat Litter. Speaking of Jake, he can’t breathe for shit. We decided to try this litter, which is crystal-based, to see if his breathing would improve. The cats liked it. We had it out for a week, and there was a powdery white dust everywhere in the basement including all over my cat, Roxy, who is black. Plus it was super-fine and messy. So we threw it away.

4. Ever Clean EverFresh Cat Litter with Activated Charcoal. It is probably the most popular litter I’ve ever used in my life. Even my dead cat, Scrubby, liked peeing in his box when we used it. Unfortunately, it was unbelievably dusty and hard to contain. There was a dusty haze in my basement, and I had to use an air purifier. We had to give it up.

3. So Phresh Advanced Odor Control Scoopable Fragrance-Free Cat Litter and Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter. It’s a tie. The first is Petco’s brand of cat litter. You can buy it in bulk from a “litter bar,” and it works pretty well. The second litter is from Dr. Elsey, and it works great. The downside? Both are dusty AF. Not as dusty as Ever Clean, but still pretty messy. My cats like both.

2. Fresh Step Clay Cat Litter. Right here is the cheap stuff. It’s old school cat litter that is over-fragranced and doesn’t clump, and at least one of my cats love it. I have no idea why. I have a hooded cat litter box that I keep off to the side and away from the main litter boxes, and I scoop the poop daily. Since the urine doesn’t clump and can’t be removed, I dump the entire litter box every two weeks and start fresh.

1. Precious Cat Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Scoopable Cat Litter. Welcome to the holy grail of cat litter. This, right here, is probably the most expensive cat litter on the market. Thankfully, it works. If you have a cat who pees outside of the box, try this brand of litter. Also, it’s probably the least dusty litter that I’ve ever used. The clay is fine. It might track everywhere, but it’s worth it. I went back to using this litter in our two main cat boxes, which are long sweater boxes from The Container Store, and my cats sent me text messages with emoji prayer hands. They were thrilled.

As Steve always says, you could disagree with these rankings. But guess what? You would be wrong. And one more thing: for optimal litter box experience, scoop daily. It takes two seconds, and litter boxes are less disgusting than your daughter’s bedroom. Keep on top of the litter box, and you won’t dread the work!

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A friend of mine recently asked me why I never talk much about my trip to India, last year. I like to travel. Where’s the long and winding blog post about my observations and experiences?

“You just wrote a boring blog post and never spoke about it, again.”

So, yeah, it’s been about a year since I went to India. The hospitality was great, and I had a wonderful time at an HR conference for two days. Then I spent a week by myself touring around the countryside and up to the Taj Mahal.

I didn’t get sick, nobody tried to hurt me, and I have a ton of phenomenal iPhone photos. Many people were warm and welcoming, which is consistent with how Americans are greeted by almost everyone in the world. And I only saw a small slice of a large country. I barely scratched the surface.

But the trip was challenging at times. I’m still so overcome with the lingering mental images of childhood poverty and human desperation that I can’t manage to write a blog post without crying. I’m too Western and too privileged and too white to write anything helpful or useful. My progressive liberalism isn’t practical, and I’m not equipped to advance a discussion on poverty and social inequality in India.

What do I know of the wars? The struggle for independence? The long-standing faith-based battles between the different regions? The good work that’s been done by NGOs? The future investments that will be made by an up-and-coming generation of Indian entrepreneurs?

I know nothing. And it’s not like America is entirely awesome, either. We grapple with homelessness and crime, and there’s no shortage of human depravity from small towns in Appalachia to the suburbs of Seattle. In that way, some of the communities I saw in India were similar to neighborhoods in Alabama and Oregon. When society fails women and children, it fails the entire family.

But there’s a special kind of heartache about the poverty I witnessed in India. According to Wikipedia, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 6% adheres to other religions (Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and various indigenous ethnically-bound faiths). But when you look around and the conditions in which some people live, especially migrants and individuals looking for work and begging on the streets, you can only come to one conclusion: there is no God.

While I have beautiful memories of touristy sites and towns, I also saw humans and wild boars rummage for food from the same trash heap. I saw how people go to the bathroom on the streets and in rivers because there aren’t toilets or they choose not to use them. And I saw how people earn money when young women and children are “engines of the economy” and not simply human beings who deserve an education and a safe place to sleep.

India is chaos on steroids, which is fine for some people but hard on my heart. Everywhere I went in India, people asked for my help in leaving their country. At the hotels. At the HR conference. In line with other Indian tourists while visiting local mosques. At breakfast. During lunch. While eating dinner. My tour guides all over Delhi and beyond. Even in my car on the way to the airport, my driver asked for my assistance. He loved America so much that he named his brand new baby “Ryan.” Could I please help him find work in the United States?

It’s hard to tell someone who is locked into a system of economic inequality and poverty that the American spirit is rooted in the firm notion that nobody can solve your problems better than you. Nobody has better answers to your life’s questions, challenges, and struggles than you. Nobody can deliver on your dream other than you.

And I wasn’t about to tell my poor driver that Americans are all about self-determination, and we believe that we can defy the odds and make things happen based on our sheer will. I couldn’t say it because the American dream is unavailable to most Americans, and it causes us an infinite amount of emotional heartache. Why start this conversation with someone who earns less than $2/day?

So, here’s what I did in India: I embraced the American stereotype of smiling and saying hello. I tipped well. I encouraged people never to stop dreaming. While I couldn’t truly help a single soul, I tried to be an ambassador for a brand that doesn’t even live up to the hype back at home.

Then I came home and cried for a few days from the jetlag. And, when I shared my story with seasoned American travelers, many of them told me that my first experience with India was very typical and not at all xenophobic. Future trips will get easier, and, also, more enjoyable.

So, I haven’t been asked to return to India, just yet. Maybe there’s something in my file. But I’m hoping to see more of the country at some point in my future, and, when I do, I hope to travel more with locals who can educate me on what I’m seeing and also what I should know as an American visiting their country.

A travel buddy who doesn’t need a visa from me would be great.

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You probably heard that the iPhone turned 10. I love my phone, and I’ll probably upgrade when the new model comes out in September, but that’s ten years of carrying around a brick in my hand that’s either bossing me around or trying to sell me something.

I’m sick of my smartphone. I want a dumbphone. That’s why I bought The Light Phone. Have you heard of it? It’s a second phone that’s linked to my iPhone, and it’s designed to be used as little as possible.

I have a job that requires travel. When I’m home during the summer, I like to ditch my desk and drive to the beach. But I have a seventeen-year-old cat who always seems like he’s on the brink of leaving this planet. Emergency phone calls are a real possibility in my life. Just this morning, I poked Jake with a feather-on-a-stick to make sure he was alive.

That’s why I bought The Light Phone. I want to be accessible in case anything goes wrong at home, but I don’t need to fall into bad habits and waste time and attention on the internet. I’m hoping this phone helps to restore some balance in my world.

And, for the record, it’s not like I don’t enjoy looking at your animal photos on Instagram. I just want to do the thing I’m doing with integrity and enjoy social media on my terms.

So, I’ll keep you posted about my experiences with The Light Phone once it arrives. I’m super-excited to experiment with being smartphone-free for an extended period, and I’ll be sure to blog about what it feels like to carry around a phone that doesn’t require a battery pack and weighs as much as a kitten.

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I met my friend Victorio Milian on a snowy day in upstate New York when I was 22 years old.

Just kidding, I met him about a decade ago at an HR conference. Which one? Who the hell knows. Doesn’t matter.

Victorio is a reasonable guy who doesn’t have time for bullshit, including mine, which is why it’s awesome to spend time with him. There’s no gossip, no drama, and no small talk. We can go years without seeing one another, but when we do, he’s direct and to the point.

Last week, we met in New Orleans and talked about gratitude and giving back. Victorio’s gratitude, not mine. I’m stuck in my head. Victorio saw right through me and talked about his life. He’s committed to addressing significant issues like racism, sexism, and homophobia. He sees the injustices, and he’s moved to act. But he also asks himself — How can I use my privilege to help others?

And, because he’s a good friend and no dummy, he got me thinking about how I can use mine.

Volunteerism.

    It’s easy to talk about volunteering, but it’s tough to get started. Volunteer orientations are boring. Those long Powerpoint slide decks are a bitch, especially for those of us who communicate professionally for a living, and sometimes those orientation sessions are inconvenient and only happen once-a-quarter or on every-third-Tuesday when I’m busy. Nevertheless, I made a list of local not-for-profits. It’s time to start giving back.

Amplification

    Plenty of people boosted me when I was a new writer. They shared my posts with their audiences and amplified my voice, even when I didn’t deserve it. So, I’m on record saying that much of HR blogging sucks. A lot of it does. Old writers like me have grown lazy and should quit hogging the limelight and let new writers shine. But I’m okay amplifying and boosting new and largely unrecognized voices. There’s gold in there, and I want to be helpful.

Introductions

    I have a sprawling network of leaders and professionals who could learn and grow from one another, but I never take the time to make introductions. There are executives out there bemoaning a lack of talent, and talented individuals are sitting at home wondering why they can’t find work. Now, I’m not a recruiter. I’m not very good at solving other people’s problems. But I can make some introductions and let the self-initiated go from there.

Victorio is a fabulous friend, and I’m lucky to spend time with him. I always walk away thinking differently about the world. How can I use my privilege to help others? Well, I can clear some time on my calendar and get involved in issues that impact my local community. I can boost other people who are trying to launch their careers. And I can start to leverage my network and make valuable introductions.

Not bad for a thirty-minute conversation. Thanks, Victorio. Super helpful. You’re the best.

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