4 random things

A few random things —

1. Here’s an interview I did with the Young Nonprofit Professional Network. We cover the differences in working in nonprofits, what to do if you’re not being managed well, how to set boundaries with your employer around your time and money, bad career advice and more.

2. Here’s an interview I did with Smarty Cents. We covered common workplace faux paus, the origins of Ask a Manager, whether I miss being the boss, and more. Plus they called me an online advice mecca.

3. After I posted a link to the interview I did with Holly Worton’s Socially Holistic podcast, several people asked for a transcript. She created one, which is here. We covered how to move into a management role, why it’s important to have difficult conversations, how Ask a Manager has helped me screen out clients I don’t want to work with, and more.

4. If you are a reader, you should join the Ask a Manager group on Good Reads, where a bunch of us are trying to figure out how to use the site to share reading recommendations with each other.

{ 36 comments… read them below }

  1. Celeste*

    So cool about the GoodReads club! I just joined, even though my account is new. I’ll be getting a Kindle for a combined birthday/Mother’s Day gift this weekend and hope to add some good material.

    1. Anna (and lay off the bananas!)*

      I would join the group there, but I’ve been on LibraryThing for years now and can’t swing two book sites and don’t want to leave the one I have. I’m not looking inflict my slightly unusual taste in reading* on anyone else: I just want to keep track of what I have read and what I haven’t.

      * Unusual enough to include three different biographies of Joan of Arc by the same author.

      1. jmkenrick*

        I’m just impressed that one person wrote three different books about Joan of Arc.

      2. Zillah*

        I love librarything – I use goodreads to communicate with other people, but librarything is definitely better IMO for keeping track of books for your own purposes.

    2. Dang*

      I’m excited for goodreads too! I always look out for the book discussions on the open thread :) Enjoy your new Kindle. I have a Nook with glowlight and it’s life-changing, haha.

      1. Celeste*

        I just have this idea that I could fit reading into my life again if it wasn’t a Himalayan trek to go to a library or bookstore. I have a defined orbit in my week and these destinations just never work out. Life-changing is what I want!!!!

        1. Arjay*

          Celeste, you should check with your local library to see if they have a program where you can check out e-books in the Kindle format. Mine does and I love it! I can check out books from the comfort of my sofa and load them directly onto my Kindle for free. It’s the best!

          1. Muriel Heslop*

            I check out library e-books all the time! It has totally changed how I read plus my husband doesn’t complain about the bookstore-like quality of our home.

          2. Celeste*

            I’m on it! Ours does, and they’re good for 3 weeks. I figure I’ll download something from Amazon first just to learn to use the reader, and then use the library system. I am sure I will wonder why I didn’t do this years ago!

            1. Persephone Mulberry*

              Also, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, check out the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library feature – allows you to read one free book a month. This isn’t a lot when you’re a voracious reader like me, and doesn’t work on the Kindle app, only on an actual Kindle, but it’s great for checking out books you’re not sure if you’ll like enough to buy.

              1. fishy*

                Prime also has Kindle First which lets you download a free book each month from 4 preselected early release books. I’ve found some great things I might not otherwise pick up.

          3. Persephone Mulberry*

            I really need to figure out how to do this – I’ve looked into it but my library’s system isn’t very user friendly (at least the last time I checked). My biggest hurdle with libraries is remembering to return stuff on time – if it just magically vanished after 3 weeks, I’d be so down with that.

            1. Mints*

              Yes, it was unwisely to figure out. My library uses overdrive, but there were other ebook options that you could also use, which I didn’t understand at all. Then once you borrow the book through overdrive (which is on my library account) it links to Amazon, to send the book to kindle. It was weird. But now I’m used to it!

              Also, the three week lending means that it disappears from your Amazon account after the time, HOWEVER, if you don’t connect it to wifi, you can keep it indefinitely on your kindle (and the book is still available to others). Win-win!

            2. Zillah*

              I know – that is literally my favorite thing about ebooks in libraries. I always ended up with huge fines, but now they just vanish! Yay!

              1. Elysian*

                Yes! And if I’m sad because I didn’t finish, I can just rent it again and never have to leave my couch. All without paying the fines. This makes me think I should willingly donate to my library, since they’re not getting all my fine money anymore.

                1. Dang*

                  I LOVE the library ebook thing, but am I the only one who stresses herself out by putting myself on the hold list for too many books, and then reading like a frenzied person because they all come through at once?! It was making me nuts so now I only put myself on the hold list for one or two at a time, but some of the popular titles take such a long time to come through that I’ve started doing it again! ahaha.

            3. Jessa*

              Our libraries have a meeting thing where you can bring your reading device and they’ll SHOW you how to do it. I find it easier to learn when physically shown something. I was also able to set up each of the account/app things right there with an expert. You might want to check your library for something belike. Sometimes it’s run by a librarian sometimes a local techie group. They usually have them after work hours too if you need to go late.

        2. Dang*

          Ha! I have to admit that I’ve always been a bookworm but pre-ereader, I was slacking in that department! You can’t beat the convenience and I spend practically as much time perusing the ebook store and cross-checking to see if the library has it in overdrive –it’s definitely worth figuring out the library ebook system, even though it’s a bit of a pain in the pants, it beats a Himalayan trek once you’ve gotten it down! :)

    3. jmkenrick*

      I am obsessed with my Kindle, mostly because I’m mid-way through Goldfinch right now, and I love to be able to carry books in my purse wherever I go, but an 800-page tome is a bit much to lug around.

      I even bought a cool cover for it so it looks like a hardback….I’ve named it Pinocchio because it wants to be a “real” book.

      1. Elkay*

        The Goldfinch is on my Kindle for that exact reason, plus at £1.99 it was too good a deal to pass up. I plan to read it on my summer holiday (10 hour plane trip to get there).

    4. mina*

      Sign up with bookbub.com. It will send you daily lists in categories you like. I’ve gotten lots of free ebooks from Amazon, but there are other vendors. So far none of the cost books have been more than 2.99. But I only download the free ones. :)

  2. Heather*

    ooh excellent. I don’t contribute a ton in the comments but I often read them.

  3. Ask a Manager* Post author

    I removed the unrelated question that was posted here because I try to keep the comments section on topic. There are so many comments on most posts that it’s already a little unwieldy, and opening it up for off-topic questions will make that even worse. Thanks for understanding!

  4. LBK*

    As a fellow “I mean”er, I enjoyed reading the podcast transcript and seeing that you say it a lot too :) I always find myself drawn to the reading/writing of people with similar speech styles to mine so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I was shocked when I read the transcript to see how much I use that! Am now going to work on cutting it down. I find it a very enjoyable turn of phrase, but should probably use it 50% less.

      1. LBK*

        It’s weird how you can be completely oblivious to those things in your own speech. I have a tendency to say “mhmm” a lot while people speak to me, especially on the phone, which I know can come off as dismissive. I had no idea until my manager caught it while doing call reviews for me and had me start keeping a tally.

        1. Persephone Mulberry*

          Whenever we had to give presentations in my management classes in college, there’d one student who was the designated timer and one who was the designated “mm, ah, er” counter. ;)

  5. CTO*

    “You might have times when your professional goals are more important to you than your personal goals. At other times, other things in your life might take priority. The key is to have clarity on that yourself and choose roles that align well with your personal and professional goals at any given time.”

    Thanks for this nugget of wisdom from the YNPN interview! I am currently looking for new work primarily because my current job (social services) just doesn’t pay me enough. I certainly earn a living wage and can live comfortably, but I can’t currently afford other life goals like grad school.

    It’s hard, I think, for people in mission-driven organizations to not feel a little guilty about chasing a pay raise (especially when it means leaving the field). I’ve grown comfortable enough with my choice but it’s always great to have a reminder that it’s okay for our priorities to shift back and forth over time. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up back in this field someday when my education and experience can command a higher salary than they can now.

    1. Sharm*

      I know what you mean! I’m wrestling with this dilemma now. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to choose salary over working for a non-profit. Where I live, even the private sector pay is distressing low. I took a big pay cut to move here. But, my life here is great and so I’m content in that sense.

      I just worry that future employers won’t take me seriously (especially if I move back to a more career-driven place), but I hope that focusing on gaining skills and doing good work now, and having good references, will help me in the future. Time will tell, I suppose.

  6. Jessa*

    Thank you from the bottom of my Deaf heart for getting someone to do the transcript. You rock.

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