It wasn’t my phone: no calls, no messages. Nor was it a desktop notification from my Mac – they’re mostly disabled anyway, and I’ve also muted all sound from my keyboard so as to enable distraction-free work.
It could have been one of the smoke detectors, advising me that the battery needs replacing. Or the dishwasher, letting me know that it has completed its cycle. It may even have been my husband’s sports watch, notifying him of a complete charge.
I wander around my home office, looking for the culprit. In my mind, composing a letter of complaint to the Chief Engineer of beep technology. Surely, in this age of the internet of things, there must be a better way? read more
Every time you turn around these days it seems that someone is offering advice — how to make your life better, find purpose, accomplish your goals. This article offers a simple approach to actually making it happen. And it works! I can personally vouch for the efficacy of everything on this list, with the possible exception of the cold shower. But after all, 7 out of 8 ain’t bad, right?
Reports from early childhood indicate that ‘no’ was my first word.
Maybe that’s why I’ve never hesitated to say no in my professional life. Not because I’m a negative person. Rather the opposite: I’m quite positive about what I want.
It’s been my experience that really positive things can come out of a negative. They are two sides of the same coin. But here’s the tricky part: you have to say yes to harness the power of no.
Let me give you an example.
I said no to a new job opportunity not long ago because I really believed I could do great things as a consultant. I needed to close one door to open the other.
That was my ‘yes’ – starting a new business. Saying no allowed me to focus on what I really wanted to achieve in my career.
And recently, I turned down a potentially exciting project that would have brought me a lot of exposure. Not because I don’t need it, but because it would have prevented me from saying yes to a lot of other work for clients I value.
In a culture that reveres the yes, here are 3 reasons to just say no: read more
It seems fitting to begin with a story. I’m a writer who believes in leaving no story untold, so here’s a recent chapter of my own: how I came to start up an independent communication consultancy.
In April 2012, the multinational group I was working for announced its decision to close divisional headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This was not entirely unexpected – we’d experienced some setbacks in the pipeline and, like many pharmaceutical companies, needed to streamline operations.
Change is never easy. The announcement that over 1,000 jobs would leave the beautiful glass tower we occupied in Geneva shattered quite a few illusions. News on that scale leaves no one unmoved. Being one for silver linings, however, I began almost immediately to think about my own plan B.
Attending a social media workshop at the university a few days later, I found myself uttering the words that had begun to crystallize in my mind: “I currently work for a major biopharmaceutical company but am preparing to launch a business as a freelance copywriter and communication consultant.”
At the break, one of the other participants came up to me and commented: “So, you’re leaving the corporate world?”
“Leaving the corporate world.” That gave me pause. It sounded so harsh and final, as if I were permanently exiling myself from a known world. “Well, yes, although I still hope to stay in touch with it through my future clients,” I smiled. But her question was well-timed in that it made me ask myself a few tough questions. read more