Tag Archives: career development

Conquering a Sick Day

By Dr. Farzanna HaffizullaDr Farzanna Haffizulla

It’s a crisp Monday morning; your agenda is interwoven with meetings, projects and the usual “catch-up,” from the week past. You awake with shaking chills and muscle pains that feel like you’re being pulsed by a million tiny lasers. Every time you swallow, your saliva feels like gasoline fueling an already rip roaring fire in your throat. You have too much to complete at your office, staying home is just not an option – or is it?  How do you know whether to stay or go? Though many often feel that they should fight through and go to work, there are many signs that indicate that you could be contagious; definitely a sign to stay home.

It is imperative to avoid spreading your infection and be evaluated for treatment to accelerate your recovery.  Signs that you are contagious, which should simplify your decision to not only stay home but to seek medical care to accelerate your recovery process, are as follows:

  • Fever

  • Persistent productive cough with fever

  • Outbreak of rash with or without fever

  • Red eyes with mucus discharge that seal your eyes shut in the morning

  • Severe sore throat

  • Muscle pains and achy joints with any of the above symptoms

  • Vomiting with or without diarrhea

  • High fever, stiff neck and headache

The spread of either a viral or bacterial infection can cause a negative trickle-down effect on the entire workplace. Realize that not only are your co-workers at risk from contracting your infection, but so are their families and loved ones, some of whom might have fragile immune systems such as the elderly and newborns.  Plus, it is unlikely that your coworkers will thank you when they contract the same cold or flu!  When your coworkers develop your illness, resulting in many other sick days across a department or office, productivity inevitably declines – many sick days could have been prevented by one or two!  There are many ways you can manage your workload while sick, especially if your coworkers or boss are willing to lend a hand and be flexible.  Some strategies that will allow for productivity during this “down” time include:

  • Work via remote computer. There are many projects in day-to-day office life that could be completed from your home computer while you are in your pajamas in bed! If you can link your office computer to your home desktop or laptop, you can tackle any computer-based projects you have lined up.  Another option is to have work scanned and sent to you for your home viewing and completion, allowing you to stay on top of your workload and recover at the same time.
  • Convert physical meetings to telephone or Skype consultations. Utilize technology to your advantage.  Most cell phones have the ability to add in multiple callers, allowing you to set up conference calls.  If you are supposed to call in to a conference line, have one of your coworkers send you the number and instructions.  Ask a coworker to set up an automatic, outgoing message with your “number for the day” and your Skype information. Not only will you impress your colleagues and clients with your innovation and dedication, but you show your consideration for not spreading your infection.
  • Take work home with you. This scenario works well if your symptoms start before the next work day.  Bring home that proposal that must be finished before the end of the week, and work on it in between naps.  Always prepare for the worst!
  • Arrange for coverage with a trusted colleague for these unplanned emergencies.  Along with letting your boss and other coworkers know that you will be at home, sick, arrange for a specific coworker to cover what they can of your workload.  Let them know of any pressing work or engagements, potential problems, or expected calls. This will allow a “physical” presence if one is needed in your line of work.
  • Utilize the time to work on “back-up work.”  This can be anything that needs to be done, but often falls by the wayside: expense reports, industry research or other tasks that you have pre-assigned yourself and have readily available. If you run your own business, this is a good day to review your budget, employee productivity and profit trends.

We cannot predict when an illness will punctuate our lives but we can certainly try to prevent such annoyances! The old adage “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure,” rings true here. There are many ways to protect your immune system and body against such infections, such as: diets high in Vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants that boost your immune system, avoiding sleep deprivation, smoking and alcohol, washing your hands regularly and encouraging your workplace to have hand sanitizers strategically placed for staff use, and taking time to de-stress.

You should also have regular medical checkups to screen for any underlying diseases that can compromise your immune system.  If you do find yourself sick and your primary care physician is not available at a moment’s notice to evaluate you, you have other options. You can either walk in to an urgent care center or have a telemedicine consult with a physician via web or phone.  There are also many walk in clinics at various pharmacies that can evaluate and treat you efficiently.

Many of us have experienced how a sick day can set you back. As professionals, parents and productive citizens, it works in our best interests to not only plan for these unforeseen sick days but incorporate prevention and maintenance of our wellness into our daily lifestyle. A healthy attitude and a positive spirit are also a basic foundation to achieving this art of health balance.  We are the architects of how we choose to deal with obstacles, such as sick days, that sometimes unpredictably insert themselves into our busy lives. Conquer them; don’t let them conquer you!

Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla is a speaker and expert in work/life balance. Her book, Harmony of the Spheres, offers methods to streamline workloads, solve interpersonal workplace issues and offers practical advice on integrating work and home life. In addition, she runs the website busymomMD.com, an informative site for modern, educated women juggling career and family.

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Your Book as Your Business Card

Indie Book Publishing Provides Professionals the Edge

By Keith Ogorek

Keith Ogorek-Book as Your Business Card

What is 6” by 9,” usually weighs roughly one pound, and is giving an increasing number of business leaders an advantage over the competition? A book.

Thanks in large part to the explosion of Indie book publishing, the use of ‘the book as a business card’ has added a new and powerful tool to the marketing arsenal of many successful business people. For a few hundred dollars, seasoned experts and professionals are putting their knowledge into professionally-published books—a calling card sure to make a much bigger impression than the traditional business card.

A prospective customer isn’t going to necessarily care who published the book—they’re going to read it and discover that you really do know what you’re talking about Click To Tweet

Marketing—especially for businesspeople in consulting and service industries—is about credibility, and a book establishes a person as someone who has reached a level of expertise. It allows readers (potential clients) to learn more about their philosophies, thought process and successful case studies, much more so than a simple brochure. And, you don’t have to be published by a major house to achieve and utilize this credibility. Authors are proving that it doesn’t matter if a book is self-published—the end result in terms of marketing benefits is the same.

Imagine one business consultant calling on prospective customers with traditional marketing materials, and another calling on the same customers and supplementing materials with a book written about the field of expertise. Who do you think has the better chance of landing that sale?

Securing extra income from book sales typically isn’t paramount for business authors. Media coverage in the form of book reviews, interviews and feature stories not only spreads the word about the author to their target business groups, but also provides excellent fodder for meetings with prospects, and priceless material for other marketing collateral.

The marketing power of TV and radio shows appearances or an expert’s book featured in various public and trade publications is undeniable. Once again, it is the book that makes the media interested in the author; another benefit of publishing.

One case in point is AuthorHouse author Stacey Hanke, whose book Everything You Need From A to A To Z To Influence Others to Take Action, has received interest from over 120 media outlets.

“My book has given me the opportunity to promote my business in ways I could not have done before,” says Hanke.

Randy Petrick, a writer, speaker, and money coach with more than thirty years of experience teaching financial concepts, has received nationwide media attention for his book Money Games: 85 Ways to Save Money and Attract Abundance. Petrick’s book and expertise has made him a particularly attractive source for the media in light of the recent economic difficulties and many Americans’ increased focus on stretching their dollars.

“Writing and publishing Money Games has been a wonderful opportunity to enhance my business as a financial consultant,” says Petrick. “I can’t imagine a better ‘business card’ in these financial times than my book.”

The expansion in the popularity of Indie book publishing, more commonly referred to as self-publishing, is drawing attention from prominent media in a time when publishing as a whole is experiencing contraction. Recent features in the Time Magazine and The New York Times draw a distinct contrast in ‘old publishing’—which was often fraught with obstacles and disappointment for prospective authors—and indie book publishing which is opening up the goal of publishing a book to everyone, including business professionals.

If you’re a business person selling your services, a prospective customer isn’t going to necessarily care who published the book—that’s not their mindset—they’re going to read it and discover that you really do know what you’re talking about, and you’ve proven it in the book.

Keith Ogorek is Vice President of Marketing for Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI) ASI, owned by Bertram Capital Management LLC, is the world leader in indie book publishing—the fastest-growing segment of publishing. ASI’s self-publishing brands: AuthorHouse, AuthorHouse UK, iUniverse, Xlibris, Wordclay and Inkubook; have helped more than 70,000 authors self-publish, promote, and bring to market more than 100,000 new titles. In 2008, one out of every 20 new U.S. titles was published by an ASI brand—more than any publisher in the world. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana; ASI also operates offices in New York City; Indianapolis; Milton Keynes, England; and Cebu, Philippines. Visit www.authorsolutions.com or call 877-655-1722 for more information.