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An early June batch of links
Since the most recent batch of links went out, paying subscribers received an essay about the anxiety of taking care of an aging body and then a reflection on wins and losses from being the lone virtual participant for a two-day seminar. Ahead, they’ll get Q&A from a guest speaking about her maternity leave.
Below, you’ll find a batch of links dedicated to the themes of this newsletter, which are career development, community building, and self care.
I crave more: more time to write, more space, more chances to branch out. But having another job doesn’t lessen the writing. And writing as a hobby isn’t a commentary on how and whether you were ambitious enough to turn it into something else. As long as “making it” is about full-time jobs and hours logged, rather than creating meaningful, sustainable opportunities for as many people as possible to do their version of the work, we’re hitting the limits of passion—because whatever form it comes in, it’s work.
Having a Productive Summer While Your Team Is Out of the Office. A good point here about how the summer vacations slow progress at work, not simply because people are out, rather that the decision makers stall and have repetitive meetings. It’s important for managers to approve of sound decision-making to continue while they’re out.
After a Month Without Dessert, My Relationship With Food Changed. I believe every kind of diet works, if you stick with it, because you’re monitoring what you eat. The hope is this: “I feel so much more connected to my body than I did a few months ago and so much more in control of my sugary compulsions.” It’s habit changing, within reason, tailored to each of us.
To Work Fewer Hours, They Put AI on the Job. This sounds to me like the right application of the technology: “Two months ago, Huggins began using ChatGPT to write articles for her site, and to create scripts for legal advice videos that she creates for YouTube. It’s work she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to accomplish, given her workload as a lawyer, which ordinarily leaves her too drained for much else.”
How to Make Meetings Shorter (for Real). I’ve been saying a phrase a lot of late that applies to this endeavor, too. It goes, ‘The secret is that you have to try.’ If everyone agrees that meetings should be shorter, you can easily shorten them. Pay attention, though, to who is lengthening meetings - and scheduling more of them - and why that person is likely doing that, despite whatever protests and proposals.
How to Reclaim Your Life from Work and do a ‘Good Enough Job’. This book captures well the emotions of the moment. The best writing about what work looks like going forward took place over recent years. It requires real examples and evidence from the 2020-23 period to be taken seriously now and next.
The post pandemic workplace: what to wear? This isn’t a big change, I don’t suspect, from how we lived in 2019, in terms of what’s expected of people in their workplaces. But the shift of the past decade prior was a significant one. I believe that people can stomach getting dressed up for the one or two days of the week they are seeing other people. There’s a novelty to it, and it could encourage people to do much more than sit at their computers all day at the office.
This tension follows a pandemic that exacerbated the divide between white-collar workers who could do their jobs from the safety of their homes and workers who often could not and were exposed to higher Covid risks.