Recommended Reading

by Race in the Workplace special correspondent Erica

Minority Workers Less Likely to Say Promotions Are Based on Merit - HR.BLR.com (Business & Legal Reports)
61.4% of all employees, 56.6% of Hispanic respondents, and 58.2% of black respondents said they thought their job performance was the main reason for their professional advancement. That doesn’t seem significant to me and speaks to larger issues: it’s as much who you know as what you know and there’s a systemic issue of lack of trust in one’s employer. (via Strategic HR Lawyer)

Paradox of Inclusion - Management Craft
There are two kinds of inclusion. There’s the politically correct kind where you make a show of inviting along a “representative” group to your meeting du jour and you “listen” to what they have to say and then go ahead and do what you were going to do anyway. Then there’s the kind where you actually listen to the voices of the people around you, even (and especially) when you might not agree with them.

Where Delivery Is a Mainstay, a Rebellion Over Pay - New York Times
Deliverymen in NYC, mostly Chinese immigrants, are protesting their working conditions, long hours, and meager pay. Unions are organizing, workers are getting locked out, and lawsuits are being filed.

Is It a Mistake to Be a Stay-at-Home Mother? - The Monster Blog
“[T]he more pressing question is not whether mothers should work (more than 70 percent of mothers with school-age children do), but how we can structure our society in a way to allow us to meet our caregiving needs. We, as men and women, bear some responsibility in that mandate, both to instill change within our organizations and within our own lives.” I’d like to see a discussion actually address this statement and go beyond “I stayed at home and it worked out for us” which further perpetuates the concept that you have to make a choice (and a sacrifice). Flex time, anyone?

LinkedIn and the Art of Avoiding an Asshole Boss - How to Change the World
How to get references on a potential boss. Guy Kawasaki suggests finding him/her on LinkedIn, seeing who they’re connected to, then asking these potential references a few questions. I appreciate the idea that you need to check out a potential employer as much as they’re checking you out. The comments on Guy’s post are mostly useless, but there are a few good constructive criticisms.

Churners and Churning - Generations@Work
Kids these days, the “Millennials,” are increasingly open to more global job opportunities. Which is good because that’s where the jobs are. The conflict is that younger folks are also a lot more likely to change jobs more frequently while employers and the government are looking to improve retention, which may be unrealistic given the nature of the current job market.

Wisdom and a Helping Hand - Amy Joyce at washingtonpost.com
On the importance of being a good mentor. The very large company I used to work for had very well-developed mentorship programs serving a variety of populations within the company. I participated in the “new minority employees” program and the “new technical employees” program. Mentors were very carefully screened and a lot of attention was paid to the matching process. These programs were crucial in my development there, and in my ultimate decision to leave, which I consider a testament to a good mentor/mentee relationship in that the best decision for me as a person was to not stay with the company, and my mentors were supportive of that.

How to ask for mentoring - Brazen Careerist
On the flip side of the mentoring relationship. Penelope Trunk emphasizes that it’s all in the approach. Ask good questions of your potential mentor. More importantly, don’t be afraid to ask in the first place.

Georgetown Gets Grant for Workplace Flexibility - Workplace Prof Blog
“Workplace Flexibility 2010 believes that social change occurs best through a combination of voluntary action and government action. The American workplace is a complex, constantly changing, and rich human environment. We believe the best policy approach to workplace flexibility therefore combines thoughtful and creative government regulation, robust voluntary and individualized efforts by employers and employees, and governmental support of innovative employer and employee efforts.” Outstanding!

Fear Of Firing - BusinessWeek
“How the threat of litigation is making companies skittish about axing problem workers.” There are several issues: Whether the employee really is an underperformer, whether or not they really are being discriminated against, and whether the company retaliates when they get wind of the discrimination allegation. Even the largest companies with the most rigorous policies and review processes get caught up in seemingly frivolous lawsuits.

Recommended Reading is a weekly feature where we link to some of our favorite workplace-related blog posts and articles. If you would like to suggest a link to Erica, please email tips@raceintheworkplace.com

Recommended Reading

by Race in the Workplace special correspondent Erica

I have a “great job,” lots of money, responsibility and respect. Why aren’t I happy? - Escape from Cubicle Nation
If your values and your current work situation don’t align, you probably won’t be happy. People spend a remarkable amount of time in jobs they don’t really like because they don’t recognize this or don’t do anything about it.

5 steps to let your dream job find you - Marketing Nirvana
These days, everyone has an online presence. Leverage that to establish yourself as knowledgeable in your field by blogging and participating online conversations on topics of interest. Then network like crazy, both online and off. Think LinkedIn, not myspace.

How Blogging Can Help You Get a New Job - WSJ.com
Remember: Your potential employer will probably Google you. Someone who has the power to offer you a job may come across your blog. This is where you show off your writing skills and passion on a subject. Doesn’t hurt to mention you’re job-hunting on your About page, either. On the flip side, they might not be impressed by your detailed account of how trashed you got last weekend.

Five ways to do better in phone interviews - Brazen Careerist
Pretending as if you’re actually doing the interview in person, even though it’s just over the phone, helps you project confidence.

What Your Body Is Telling an Interviewer - Career Hub
Some tips on what to do and what not to do. Basically, try not to look nervous and be attentive. Perhaps also useful for playing poker. I’m guilty of having a couple things on the What Not to Do list as regular nervous habits.

It’s Easy to Signal that Racist “Chatter” Isn’t a Big Deal! - The Black Factor
If you hear comments that are offensive, don’t let it slide. You can make your point effectively by simply getting up and walking away. I recently received a forwarded joke from a co-worker that was very anti-immigrant. I was offended but didn’t know what to say without getting into a whole to-do-da. I could have simply told them not to send me anymore jokes.

Do you need to be hip? - Management Craft
Managers and leaders need to be hip in the sense that they know what’s going on with the people that work for them. Especially when that means you’re keeping up with technology (like blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.) that could potentially help your team work better.

Why Severance? - Evil HR Lady
Companies give out severance packages because it’s cheaper than being sued for wrongful termination (among other reasons). “Companies would prefer not to have to give out this money, but even one lawsuit can be very expensive as well as being a public relations nightmare. If you are in any protected class (minority, female, over 40, etc) getting you to go away happily is their biggest concern.”

Recommended Reading is a weekly feature where we link to some of our favorite workplace-related blog posts and articles. If you would like to suggest a link to Erica, please email tips@raceintheworkplace.com