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July 17, 2008

Ask Rana

Advice on Work, Life & Play

Internationally syndicated advice columnist


I’ve been in the same job for two years with no promotions except for a slight cost of living adjustment. I typically clock over 60 hours a week and I sit idly by watching colleague after colleague climb the corporate ladder. I finish my work; get my projects in on budget and on deadline but with no kudos. What do I need to do to get a decent promotion?



(image from art-of-negotiation.blogspot.com)


The key word here is idly. You CAN’T sit idly by and wait for a promotion to get handed to you on a silver platter! My brother was in the same position and I was flabbergasted when he told me he made his request heard by muttering under his breath as he passed his boss in the hallway or passively aggressively joked about wanting a promotion. Here are 10 easy steps to a promotion.

  1. Schedule an appointment with your boss for an hour meeting with the subject of the meeting as “career development.” 
  2. Do your homework! Make a list of all your accomplishments and successes in your current position and bring it to the meeting.
  3. Start the meeting by telling your boss how much you appreciate the time they took to meet with you and how happy you are working there. Go through your accomplishments and explain that you feel it’s time to move on to something more challenging.
  4. Clearly state what position(s) you are seeking and the value you bring to the organization.
  5. Lock your boss into a deadline and next steps by asking how soon they can help make that happen or get a clear picture of what you need to do to make that happen.
  6. Get concise information about the salary range for the position.
  7. Explain that you will do whatever it takes to help expedite the process and train your replacement.
  8. In the meantime, make sure you are not just sitting idly by. Update your resume and cover letter.
  9. Submit your resume to several other organizations and find a headhunter.
  10. One month prior to the deadline, schedule another meeting with your boss to see if the timeline is on track. If it isn’t, get clear answers as to why. If you feel you are getting the runaround, explain that you are dedicated to helping the organization advance but that you feel it’s time to take your career to the next level and if they can’t help you do that, then you will have to try to do it elsewhere. If your boss says it is on track, then make sure to check back one week prior to the deadline and congratulations!

April 14, 2008

David :Entrepreneurship, Creative Class Strategies

Solar Powered Medical Equipment from Dayton's Creative Class

In early March, under the leadership of SOCHE, Richard, Steven, Lou, Rana, and I worked with 32 catalysts in Dayton, Ohio. The energy of the people, the strength of the art community, the leading universities, and the culture of innovation (from the Wright Brothers to Wright-Patterson) made for an exciting couple of days.

I recently came across a great example of the Dayton's creative assets in action. This article from the University of Dayton highlights the winner of their recent business plan competition.

From the piece:

Salud del Sol, an innovative new business from a team of University of Dayton students aimed at bringing the 'health of the sun' to medical treatment in developing countries, took home the $10,000 first prize to help get the venture off the ground.

Winning the 2008 University of Dayton Business Plan Competition, the team of Lauren Dokes, Lori Hanna, Daniel Hensel and Anna Young created a business plan to develop and market solar cookers and solar-powered sterilizers.

Salud del Sol tapped other expertise at the University including engineering, international development and social entrepreneurship, according to project member Lori Hanna, a mechanical engineering major. The project – the basis of her senior honors thesis – grew from an internship in rural Nicaragua through UD 's Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-learning (ETHOS) program.

"Nurses have to travel to bigger health centers or hospitals to use sterilizers, sometimes traveling long distances by bus and spending precious time and money to have access to the equipment," she said.

This type of social entrepreneurship is becoming more and more of a calling card/career choice of members of the creative class and places that offer combinable creative assets -- including universities, mega region/international linkages, entrepreneurial institutions, and scientific talent -- will see sustainable growth and improvements in quality of place.

January 12, 2008

Richard Florida

But, I Want it NOW!

Understanding "millenials" in the workplace continues to be a challenge for both employers and employees.

Network World magazine reports on a recent survey of IT Managers:

Atlantic Associates polled more than 100 Massachusetts executives on the challenges they face and more than 50% of respondents described those teen and 20-something employees as the "toughest generation to manage." Generation Xers (ages 32 to 42 years old) placed second with 17% of respondents saying they pose a management challenge.

Jack Harrington, co-founder and principal of the staffing firm, says the problem between employers and the younger generation just entering the workforce can be traced back to the employees' upbringing or an easier way of life for children in the United States today.

"The issue managers are facing is with retention, not hiring. That means the work environment is not living up to the employee's expectation," he says. For instance, many younger workers expect to get an office immediately or be paid at a rate higher than entry level.

"Millennials are coming in with high expectations and are disillusioned about the reality of a work place. They feel they should be rewarded and start at the top, when we all know you have to work your way up. They have been raised to be rewarded often and when you get into the workforce those rules change a bit," Harrington says.

But Millennials' ideas also have a positive influence on work environments. For instance, they expect their employer to be socially responsible and take part in community or philanthropic ventures, which is a good thing, Harrington says.

There are so many things wrong with those statements, I'm not sure where to begin.  (But, also some things that are right.)  Employers want the employees and the skills they provide (especially important in IT) but don't have any real understanding of what they really want.  Failing to develop that understanding means retention is an issue.

Continue reading "But, I Want it NOW!" »

January 10, 2008

Richard Florida

You Go, Girl!

A new release from the US Census Bureau pretty much says it all:

About 33 percent of young women 25 to 29 had a bachelor’s degree or more education in 2007, compared with 26 percent of their male counterparts, according to tabulations released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The tables also showed that more education continues to pay off in a big way: Adults with advanced degrees earn four times more than those with less than a high school diploma. Workers 18 and older with a master’s, professional or doctoral degree earned an average of $82,320 in 2006, while those with less than a high school diploma earned $20,873.

     Other highlights:

    • In 2007, 86 percent of all adults 25 and older reported they had completed at least high school and 29 percent at least a bachelor's degree.
    • More than half of Asians 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or more (52 percent), compared with 32 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 19 percent of blacks and 13 percent of Hispanics.
    • The proportion of the foreign-born population with a bachelor’s degree or more was 28 percent, compared with 29 percent of the native population. However, the proportion of naturalized citizens with a college degree was 34 percent.
    • Workers 18 and older with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $56,788 in 2006, while those with a high school diploma earned $31,071.
    • Among those whose highest level of education was a high school diploma or equivalent, non-Hispanic white workers had the highest average earnings ($32,931), followed by Asians ($29,426) and blacks ($26,268). Average earnings of Hispanic workers in the same group ($27,508) were not statistically different from those of Asian or black workers.
    • Among workers with advanced degrees, Asians ($88,408) and non-Hispanic whites ($83,785) had higher average earnings than Hispanics ($70,432) and blacks ($64,834).

Press release here and full report here.

Posted by Kevin Stolarick

September 18, 2007

Temp_big_imge_01 Andrea Coombes of the WSJ (sub req'd) wrote a piece last week highlighting a recent survey that found, "workers who telecommute from home or elsewhere, while still a very small portion of the work force, report the highest levels of satisfaction with their jobs and loyalty to their employers." The article has some great insights and mini-cases. Longer snippet below.

posted by David

Continue reading "Loyal Employees Stay Home" »

July 30, 2007

Richard has written extensively on the role of the University in the Creative Economy... (check out the library for pieces by Richard including The University and The Creative Economy by Richard, Gary, Kevin, and Brian). His work has informed my work on the benefits of starting new ventures on campuses.

A recent story in the WSJ by Thaddeus Herrick (available w/out a sub via AOL) shows that corporations are beginning to try new strategies in leveraging the benefits of the university in the creative economy. Express Scripts, Inc., a company that does $18 billion in pharmacy benefits management, is relocating its HQ to the University of Missouri's St. Louis Campus. From the piece,

Continue reading "Big Corporation on Campus" »

July 24, 2007

Svprius The Creative Class clearly brings its own ethos to work, leisure, cities, and consumption. From the San Jose Mercury News (hat tip: ValleyWag), The Prius is the number #1 selling car in Silicon Valley. Thats right, the large US metro with the greatest % of CC in its workforce has made the Prius its car of choice by buying more Prii in June than any other model. "That puts the Prius ahead of Toyota's Camry and Corolla and Honda's Accord and Civic, all cars that outsell the high-mileage, gas-electric sedan nationwide."

"Are we ahead of the curve, or what?" asked Rod Diridon, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University, and a Prius owner.

The Prius' newfound status reflects the continued greening of Silicon Valley. Diridon listed sustained higher gas prices, the availability of carpool-lane stickers for solo Prius drivers - no more are being issued - and the intelligence of local residents as factors in the Prius' popularity."

posted by David


June 19, 2007

More Bloomberg. Video piece at YouTube. Google VP Sheryl Sandberg talks with NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg during an Authors@Google event. Topics include talent attraction and retention, technology, and cities. BTW, does your company offer an authors series?

June 08, 2007

Great video of Google's VP for People Operations Laszlo Bock -- a Romanian immigrant -- testifying on Capitol Hill regarding the practical benefits of immigration to Google and the US. It is a great testimony and confirms much of what we know on immigration and talent. People need to see this.

posted by David

May 31, 2007

A little article in yesterday's WSJ, highlights how even the most popular companies are having to alter their plans/strategies in order to attract the most talented. Here is the blurb:

"One trend affecting those markets: Some traditional Silicon Valley employers have been looking for space in San Francisco because they have found their younger work force prefers an urban environment to the sprawling tech campuses. Google Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., already subleased space at San Francisco's Hills Plaza from Gap Inc."

posted by David