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Professional Buzz

Professional Buzz

Professional Buzz is a blog warehousing relevant information, tips and tools for students and professionals looking for career development and advice. Topics range from leadership and management skills to interpersonal communication and innovation in the workplace. The blog is written and curated by Associate Dean of the Graduate College, Anne Converse Willkomm – drawing on her academic and professional experience to provide insight into the latest professional trends, challenges and skills needed to thrive in today’s everchanging workplace.

powerful words = empowerment

Powerful Words=Empowerment

At the recent Pennsylvania Conference for Women, I heard powerful words of encouragement from the keynote speaker.

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Gray background with the words in all caps: Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

As a woman, I would like to think we were making progress, and in some cases we are, but according to a YouGov poll that survey 4,900 people, 25% of respondents reported witnessing sexual harassment at work, and 30% of respondents (80% of whom were women), reported experiencing sexual harassment. And it gets worse, “60 percent of women in tech report receiving unwanted sexual advances,” according to a February 2017 TechCrunch article, it is difficult to argue progress is being made.

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Chalkboard with the word Success in large letters written on it

Redefining Success

Yesterday, I attended the PA Women’s Conference with 12,000 other women (and a few men). In the keynote address, Shonda Rimes talked with former First Lady, Michelle Obama. There were plenty of great nuggets, but one really stood out. Mrs. Obama said, “At some point we need to create a different definition of success at work.”

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Performance Reviews

Self-assessment is a valuable tool. Looking back on one’s accomplishments and one’s failures or weaknesses can, and should, provide a roadmap for future goals and growth. But the honest truth, the performance appraisal process does not facilitate that kind of growth.

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Benefits of team building

Team building experiences are not just fun, they provide an opportunity for co-workers to interact with one another in very different ways, see one another through a different lens. We begin to see one another as a fellow human being versus a “co-worker,” someone who has feelings, hopes, and dreams, etc. When we return to the office, we then interact with that person a little bit differently. While we have this shared experience to talk about, laugh about, and reminisce about together, we also are more likely to be supportive, give the benefit of the doubt, or even lend a hand.

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Movie cover from Horrible Bosses

Horrible bosses

Over the years, I have had a few good bosses, some bad ones, and even more mediocre ones. The good ones have been supportive of me and my career goals, they have encouraged me to think differently, they have pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and take on tasks and assignments I considered out of my wheel house. The mediocre bosses weren’t unsupportive, but the focus was more about simply getting the job done – punch the ticket and move on. For the most part, the bad ones were either not interested in my career goals or they didn’t support them because they thought they knew what was best for me.

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The art of reflection

Reflection is a powerful tool in our EQ (Emotional Intelligence) toolbox. It is a skill that requires you to step outside of yourself to honestly examine your actions, thoughts, and goals. In other words, thinking critically about yourself by asking the tough questions.

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writing for others

Tips for Writing for an Organization — or Another Person

We write for ourselves everyday, but sometimes the need arises to write under the guise of someone — or something — else, whether it's helping your boss write a letter to constituents or working on copy for the company website.

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Potential Effects of the Solar Eclipse

Did you purchase the special solar goggles or make a home-made viewer to watch the solar eclipse in action on Monday? If so, you are not alone. Many people did just that, and then they stepped away from their desks, phones, and computers to withness the rare event. But at what cost?

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Black background with the words Business Ethics in white

Business Ethics

Leaders should model and encourage ethical decision-making, and reward those who make ethical decisions. More importantly, those leaders who do not make ethical decisions and promote ethical decision-making, should not lead. They do their employees and their clients a disservice.

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How To Improve Your Time Management Skills

Time management is a "soft skill" — a skill highly valued by employers and necessary in virtually all aspects of our professional and personal lives. So, I spent some time thinking about my own time management skills, and here is what I consider a sensible list of recommendations to enhance your time management skills.

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Amazon logo

Lessons From Amazon

Amazon has been the go-to website for shopping – continuing to achieve their mission. It has provided everything from books to batteries, dolls to diapers, and as of mid-June of this year, they entered the fresh food market. There is little one can’t purchase on Amazon. But what are the costs to Amazon's incredible online expansion?

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