Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Adapt to Changes in 2013 Workplace

NO, THIS ISN'T YOUR FATHER'S workplace. It isn't even the one your mother muscled her way into in the 1980s and 1990s. It became a whole new world with the invention of the Internet, and nothing was, or ever will be the same.

How well are you adjusting? This innovation of the world wide web and all it entails changed the way all of us have to interact with co-workers and bosses, and even how we do our jobs, but sometimes this change actually gets in the way of success.

So how can you deal with it and make these changes work in your favor? 
Mark Goulston and John Ullmen, authors of REAL INFLUENCE:  Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In, offer the following suggestions:       
·       Recognize that different generations respond better to different methods of contact:  a millennial may very well prefer a text or an instant message, or may even respond to a post on Facebook or an image on Instagram.  Baby boomers and beyond may respond better to a written note, or a telephone call.  Elders may respond best to sit down visit in person.    
·       When possible, make personal contact:  pick up the phone, walk over to someone's desk, make an appointment for an in-person meeting.    
·       Instead of hiding behind technology, use technology to be interactive.  Don't just send an email, send a meeting invite.  This will force someone to accept, decline, or offer a new time.  Ultimately, there will be an interaction.  Facilitate conversations with technology instead of avoiding them.  
·       Break the routine.  If everybody on your team is used to doing the same thing at the same time every day, week in and week out, surprise them.  Create a planned on your part, but spontaneous on their part, event - take the team out to lunch, to the park, for a walk.  Shake up the routine and change the conversation.  Break the habit handicap.    
·       Ask others for their opinion.  Be genuine and see the reaction you get.  Again, this is better done in person, but a quick email stating the situation and asking for someone else's thoughts will not only engage the recipient, but the answers may very well surprise you.   


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