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Online Interview with Anita Bruzzese of 45 Things (Careers)

Anita Bruzzese is a nationally syndicated columnist on the workplace and award-winning journalist. She writes for USAToday.com, has been interviewed by BusinessWeek.com, appeared on many national publications, is the author of “45 Things That Drive Your Boss Crazy…and How to Avoid Them�? and “Take This Job and Thrive�?,  and blogs at 45 Things.  


NewsDrillDigital: How did you get into careers journalism?

Anita: More than 20 years ago I was hired to be the founding managing editor of Employee Benefit News. Years later, when I became a freelance writer, I began doing a workplace column for the Pensacola, Fla. News-Leader. Gannett, which owned the newspaper, then hired me to write a career/workplace column on a national basis.

NewsDrillDigital: How has social media, in general, helped you?

Anita: Social media has been helpful in helping me find new sources for stories, to keep up on trends impacting the workplace/career arena — and even to get additional freelance work.

NewsDrillDigital: Are you in favour of social media at work?

Anita: I think most employees use social media at work, whether it’s checking Facebook or Twittering. Employers trying to forbid social media use at work is like telling someone they can’t use the telephone. I think as long as employees are aware of the potential legal issues or security problems for their company and don’t overuse it (and not get their work done) it should be allowed. The critical factor is that companies and employees communicate clearly and often about how and when social media should be used so that problems don’t crop up.

NewsDrillDigital: How effective is online social networking for finding jobs?

Anita: I think social media is just one aspect of finding a job. The most important thing it can do is to help you have initial contact with someone — then continue that conversation through phone calls or e-mails or in-person conversations. Most people still get their jobs through networking, so social media is a part of that. Social networking is just like any other kind of networking: Be yourself and offer to help others when you can.

NewsDrillDigital: Have you ever been in an interview where you felt it was slipping badly but managed get it back on track?

Anita: I’ve never felt that way in an interview, but I have thought after I didn’t get a job that perhaps I didn’t do as well as I should have in an interview. I have been known to make notes after an interview so that I can review it later and think, “What could I have done better?” I always find something.

NewsDrillDigital: How do you say “no” to people at work?

Anita: I don’t know anyone who isn’t working more than ever. I’ve been honest with people and said, “I really don’t know how I could fit that in, because there are only so many hours in a day.” I think you can say to a boss: “I’d love to help you out, but in order to meet that deadline, it’s going to interfere with Project B. Do you have any suggestions?” That puts the task on them to figure out a way to make it all work. As for co-workers, I’ve often said, “I can’t help you right now, but if you can give me more time, or want to ask me again later, I’d be happy to try and make it work.”

NewsDrillDigital: Have you ever had a job you didn’t much like – how did you deal with it?

Anita: I had a job I hated, and it was very, very difficult to cope. I just kept diligently looking for something else. I spent a lot of time outside of work trying to do things I enjoyed to balance how miserable I was at work.

NewsDrillDigital: How do you deal with procrastination?

Anita: I’m really not much of a procrastinator — I get very anxious to have things undone. If it’s a task I don’t like, I sometimes do it first, or do part of it and return to it later and finish it. I often reward myself when I get something unpleasant done — whether it’s a walk with my dog or lunch with a family member or friend.

NewsDrillDigital: How do you handle work stress?

Anita: I love to work in my garden, read or spend time with family. Sharing a laugh with someone, breathing fresh air or curling up with a good book is very relaxing for me. I’m also a big believer in naps. The world would be a much better place if everyone would take a nap once a day.

NewsDrillDigital: What are the most important things people should be doing to secure their jobs in these challenging economic times?

Anita: I don’t know that there are any guarantees for any job, but I think it’s important to always be on the same page with your boss and your company. That means that what is important to the boss should be important to you. You should always be looking at your job in terms of how it helps your boss be more successful and your company make money. If you don’t know what those goals are — for your boss or your company — find out. Immediately. I also think it’s critical you network every day, no matter how secure you believe your position to be. You should network with those in your industry, with those in other departments and with those in your community. That way, if something does happen with your job, you’re ready to call on your network for help.


(at the time of this interview, eyeconomy.co.uk was spotlightideas.co.uk)

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