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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SPRING at last: The end of the winter of my discontent

“Now is the winter of our discontent,
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.”  
                                                    - William Shakespeare   Richard III

I am so over winter. I’ve had it. Done! Each year I hate it more and more. Every year in November, I start giving myself that pre-winter pep talk about improving my attitude and hoping “this year” will be different. It never is!

Top Six things I hate about winter

1. It is dark.  The lack of sunlight makes me crazy, depressed, and bitter. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and not only does it make me sad, it makes me MAD!

2. It is cold. So shoot me, I can’t stand being cold. I prefer to be warm than cold and I am almost always cold.

3. Hibernation. Since I don’t like the dark and cold, I go into hibernation mode. This is upsetting because I love being outdoors. Sitting in the house all the time is even more depressing. You see where this is going.

4. The clothes. Too many and too bulky.

5. Snow.  I know! I am being virtually booed at this very moment. If you live in D.C. and have to commute, you will understand WHY snow has become so loathsome to so many people. Sure it is pretty to look at, but it isn’t worth the chaos, danger, and misery. 

6. There are no leaves on the trees. This is so depressing. To me, a tree without leaves looks like  dead, lifeless, and like a tree skeleton. 

I suffer from early December through mid March each year, but now I can CELEBRATE and enjoy the next nine months of gloriously warm, sunny, mild weather. I made it!!!

Happy First Day of Spring!!!!

And before you know it, SUMMER will be here!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mastering Professional Communication in a Defense Industry Office

Effective communication is arguably one of the most valuable skills an employee can possess. Whether it is improper grammar, usage errors, or inappropriate conversation, certain situations have the potential for disastrous outcomes. The age of texting, Instagramming and social media updating means that many professionals find their digital skills far outweigh their interpersonal ones. Here are a few general tips: 

Don’t #1
Inappropriate use of slang: Most professional environments frown upon the use of slang in meetings, official emails, or during business discussions. The expectation is that an employee will be able to speak and write using standard business vocabulary and words that are appropriate and professional in nature and demeanor.

Write clearly and consistently: All writing performed in a business environment requires common sense, skill, and forethought. Success means being able to convey messages and thoughts in a clear and consistent way. Failure means sloppy, inaccurate, or incomplete communications that lack credibility or veracity. A good rule for email is to be as short as possible – if you need to write an essay, get on the phone.

Don’t #2
Texting acronyms: Many college students will be in for a rude awakening if they believe that acronyms that are used in text messages are acceptable when writing business emails. For example, using the acronym “GTG” for “good to go” will not be accepted or understood. In an office environment is best to stick with clear, concise wording and limit the use of abbreviated acronyms that the receiver may or may not understand.

See more here:
Mastering Professional Communication in a Defense Industry Office

Friday, March 1, 2013

Federal Agencies Warm to BYOD

There is a lot of buzz in federal offices about staff using their own personal devices for work.  Thanks to a reversal in attitudes, new federal guidance actually encourages a policy that was once completely frowned upon - BYOD.  

Obviously there are rules and guidelines in place for the growing number of government agencies catching on to the idea of BYOD- Bring Your Own Device. BYOD programs hope to reduce costs, increase program productivity and effectiveness, improve user experience, and adapt to the changing workforce. Each program will vary depending on the agency and guidelines. 

Whether it is a smartphone or a tablet, increased productivity and accessibility, government case studies have shown the value of allowing workers to BYOD. 

See more here: Federal Agencies Warm to BYOD