FastCompany Magazine

The official Tumblr of Fast Company.

Here’s how to get your boss and coworkers used to the idea that you won’t always be available.
Picture this. You’re on a beach in the middle of the Caribbean with no Internet access, no phone reception, and no text messages.
You return from your vacation well rested, and want to continue some of these healthy habits—like not sleeping with your smartphone on your pillow. But how does that work when you’ve been tethered to your phone, and your coworkers and boss expect you to answer 24/7 because that’s what you’ve always done?
Depending on your particular situation, you can broach the topic with your boss. It may not be easy to detach from your smartphone, but it’s certainly not impossible, according to several experts. Here’s what they advise:
Read More>

Here’s how to get your boss and coworkers used to the idea that you won’t always be available.

Picture this. You’re on a beach in the middle of the Caribbean with no Internet access, no phone reception, and no text messages.

You return from your vacation well rested, and want to continue some of these healthy habits—like not sleeping with your smartphone on your pillow. But how does that work when you’ve been tethered to your phone, and your coworkers and boss expect you to answer 24/7 because that’s what you’ve always done?

Depending on your particular situation, you can broach the topic with your boss. It may not be easy to detach from your smartphone, but it’s certainly not impossible, according to several experts. Here’s what they advise:

Read More>

Don’t let them get you down. A guide to the kinds of people you’re forced to work with, and how to deal with them.
If you’re like most people, you like most of your colleagues most of the time. Generally speaking, the workplace is a community. People are friendly, and there is a shared goal. And that makes work a fulfilling place to be, and hopefully you feel as though you are part of something bigger.
Unfortunately, all that goodwill generated by your wonderful coworkers can evaporate completely when a few jerks appear. Just a couple of negative interactions with a colleague can be enough to overcome a host of other positive conversations. And those negative interactions may stay with you even after you leave work.
Here’s a field guide to some of the biggest jerks at work and a few things you can do to keep up your positive mood.
Read More>

Don’t let them get you down. A guide to the kinds of people you’re forced to work with, and how to deal with them.

If you’re like most people, you like most of your colleagues most of the time. Generally speaking, the workplace is a community. People are friendly, and there is a shared goal. And that makes work a fulfilling place to be, and hopefully you feel as though you are part of something bigger.

Unfortunately, all that goodwill generated by your wonderful coworkers can evaporate completely when a few jerks appear. Just a couple of negative interactions with a colleague can be enough to overcome a host of other positive conversations. And those negative interactions may stay with you even after you leave work.

Here’s a field guide to some of the biggest jerks at work and a few things you can do to keep up your positive mood.

Read More>

Networking in a new industry can be daunting for even the most socially adept. Here’s how to dissolve the nerves.
Networking is research-proven to be the overwhelmingly best way to land a job, better than job board hunting and recruiter services.
But for most of us—introverts, especially—selling oneself as a “brand” doesn’t come naturally. Something as small as fully owning the skills section of your resume feels like pulling your own teeth; shoving yourself out the door to walk into a room of strangers feels like a root canal.
Here’s how to calm the nerves and awkwardness that come with wading into a crowd of industry pros, in search of your next big break:
Read More>

Networking in a new industry can be daunting for even the most socially adept. Here’s how to dissolve the nerves.

Networking is research-proven to be the overwhelmingly best way to land a job, better than job board hunting and recruiter services.

But for most of us—introverts, especially—selling oneself as a “brand” doesn’t come naturally. Something as small as fully owning the skills section of your resume feels like pulling your own teeth; shoving yourself out the door to walk into a room of strangers feels like a root canal.

Here’s how to calm the nerves and awkwardness that come with wading into a crowd of industry pros, in search of your next big break:

Read More>

They aren’t waiting around or keeping their heads down, no matter what anyone says.
Young, hopeful entrepreneurs are never at a loss for free advice from those who have “been there, done that.”
The best companies have millennials and women in charge, so it’s no surprise there are countless well-meaning people ready to dole out their two cents.
But how do you separate the distractions from truly valuable advice? These five women in the tech and business industries made their own ways, but sifted through their share of unsolicited chaff in the process.
Read More>

They aren’t waiting around or keeping their heads down, no matter what anyone says.

Young, hopeful entrepreneurs are never at a loss for free advice from those who have “been there, done that.”

The best companies have millennials and women in charge, so it’s no surprise there are countless well-meaning people ready to dole out their two cents.

But how do you separate the distractions from truly valuable advice? These five women in the tech and business industries made their own ways, but sifted through their share of unsolicited chaff in the process.

Read More>

Ignoring an in-office conflict won’t make it go away. Here’s how to get things back on track.
You’ve had an interaction with a coworker during which you felt hurt, angry, misunderstood, and wronged—clearly it was an upsetting and difficult situation.
As you regroup, you review what happened, what you heard and experienced. Replaying the conversation is painful and you begin to plan what you’d like to say as a follow-up. Of course the other person is taking stock and regrouping too, and he or she likely has a very different take on what happened.
Revisiting and repairing a difficult interaction in the workplace is a complex process. Here’s how to get started:
Read More>

Ignoring an in-office conflict won’t make it go away. Here’s how to get things back on track.

You’ve had an interaction with a coworker during which you felt hurt, angry, misunderstood, and wronged—clearly it was an upsetting and difficult situation.

As you regroup, you review what happened, what you heard and experienced. Replaying the conversation is painful and you begin to plan what you’d like to say as a follow-up. Of course the other person is taking stock and regrouping too, and he or she likely has a very different take on what happened.

Revisiting and repairing a difficult interaction in the workplace is a complex process. Here’s how to get started:

Read More>

Women are told to lean in, but having the time to lean back might be the true test of equality and success.
It’s well documented that women still aren’t earning as much as men—less than three quarters of the salary for the same work in many industries—but the gender wage gap isn’t the only issue. There’s another disparity quietly gaining traction: The gender leisure gap.
Some blame Sheryl Sandberg’s "Lean-in" phenomenon, in which women have been urged to do more, take on more, lean in to more and more opportunities in order to advance. Lean-in critics like Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks say it’s a mentality that breeds burnout.
"When a workplace is full of employees who always lean in and never lean back, it’s full of employees who are exhausted, brittle, and incapable of showing much creativity or making good decisions," she writes in Foreign Policy. “There is, after all, much to be said for leaning out—for long lunches, afternoon naps, good books, and some nice, slow hours in the La-Z-Boy.”
Read More>

Women are told to lean in, but having the time to lean back might be the true test of equality and success.

It’s well documented that women still aren’t earning as much as men—less than three quarters of the salary for the same work in many industries—but the gender wage gap isn’t the only issue. There’s another disparity quietly gaining traction: The gender leisure gap.

Some blame Sheryl Sandberg’s "Lean-in" phenomenon, in which women have been urged to do more, take on more, lean in to more and more opportunities in order to advance. Lean-in critics like Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks say it’s a mentality that breeds burnout.

"When a workplace is full of employees who always lean in and never lean back, it’s full of employees who are exhausted, brittle, and incapable of showing much creativity or making good decisions," she writes in Foreign Policy. “There is, after all, much to be said for leaning out—for long lunches, afternoon naps, good books, and some nice, slow hours in the La-Z-Boy.”

Read More>

Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.

However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.
Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.
Read More>

Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.

image

However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.

Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.

Read More>

Here’s what’s happening in Fast Company’s September issue!

image

A speech pro explains how to establish gravitas using six key communication skills.
On the very first episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert satirized the concept of “gravitas,” saying, “If you have sufficient gravitas, what you say doesn’t have to mean anything at all.”
While Colbert was probably exaggerating to get a laugh, the essence of his claim is definitely on target: Gravitas is one of the most important qualities for leadership in all businesses today.
A 2012 study by communications analytics firm Quantified Communications gave empirical weight to that idea, showing that “a speaker’s tone, appearance, and demeanor” was a staggering nine times more salient than the actual content presented.
So clearly, gravitas is important.
In my 35 years of providing speaking coaching to leaders at companies ranging from major multinational corporations to small businesses, I’ve taught critical communication strategies that make owning a room significantly easier. To get you started, here are six concrete ways you can command attention at your next critical meeting and demonstrate the elusive “gravitas.”
Read More>

A speech pro explains how to establish gravitas using six key communication skills.

On the very first episode of The Colbert ReportStephen Colbert satirized the concept of “gravitas,” saying, “If you have sufficient gravitas, what you say doesn’t have to mean anything at all.”

While Colbert was probably exaggerating to get a laugh, the essence of his claim is definitely on target: Gravitas is one of the most important qualities for leadership in all businesses today.

2012 study by communications analytics firm Quantified Communications gave empirical weight to that idea, showing that “a speaker’s tone, appearance, and demeanor” was a staggering nine times more salient than the actual content presented.

So clearly, gravitas is important.

In my 35 years of providing speaking coaching to leaders at companies ranging from major multinational corporations to small businesses, I’ve taught critical communication strategies that make owning a room significantly easier. To get you started, here are six concrete ways you can command attention at your next critical meeting and demonstrate the elusive “gravitas.”

Read More>

Your job seems normal now. In 15 years, when someone tells you they’re a simplicity expert or a robot counselor, you won’t blink an eye.

All of the predictions we’ve seen lately regarding the “jobs of the future” assume that we’ll even have jobs once the robots take over. Eventually, we may not. But in the medium-term future, there will still be jobs for the taking (including jobs overseeing robots).

The Canadian Scholarship Trust teamed up with futurists to imagine a job fair in 2030, with predictions based on the environmental, social, technological, and social trends happening now. Here are some of the jobs they came up with.

Read More>