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6 too-real comics show what happens when work gets too heavy

Finding a good balance between working and relaxing can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be.

Image courtesy of College Humor

A reason to be late... tasty treats.


Everyone gets antsy about their jobs sometimes.

Maybe you notice you're less motivated than usual. Maybe you acknowledge that you're no longer going the extra mile, and you're not quite sure why. Maybe professionalism is a term you've long since forgotten.

For many of us, the struggle can be so, so real. That's why Willie Muse wrote these all-too-relatable comics for College Humor, illustrated by Karina Farek.


These six funny comics perfectly illustrate what a typical first day at your job looks like versus the 101st day:

1. Who doesn't look at at least one viral video a day?

music, work, employee rights, jobs

To tune or not to tune.

Image courtesy of College Humor

2. You suddenly find the time to fit in a breakfast sandwich.

breakfast, fast food, time

How do you miss out on a breakfast quickly served?

Image courtesy of College Humor

3. You go from wanting your boss's approval to hating his or her guts.

boss, employee, friendship, community

Getting to know your coworkers...

Image courtesy of College Humor

4. All the details that were once so important become nuisances.

job requirements, nuisances, work vacation

An evolution in responsibility and ethics?

Image courtesy of College Humor

5. Your (lack of) motivation can take you from hero to zero — quick!

motivation, work-life-balance, career

When an opportunity evolves into a responsibility.

Image courtesy of College Humor

6. And you most certainly DO NOT want to end up like this.

advice, labor, qualifications

Getting on the right side of fear.

Image courtesy of College Humor

Let's be real: These comics are funny, but they also aren't ideal.

In a perfect world, we'd all have jobs that still look and feel like Day 1 on Day 101. And one of the only ways to get there is to intentionally strive for a life that's full of work-life balance. We really do have the power to not let things play out like this.

What can we do?

At a most basic level, we can make sure we're getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing at least a little exercise. We also shouldn't underestimate the benefits of detaching from computer screens and smartphones every once in a while. Plus, we can also minimize our stress levels by not multitasking and instead concentrating on one task at time.

The most overlooked advice for maintaining a healthy work-life balance is to actually take time off.

Disconnect from your daily work routine. Make a conscious effort to recharge.

Perhaps if we dedicate more time to enjoying life outside of work, there's more of a chance that we'll be on Day 1 for months, feeling grateful for our jobs rather than impatiently waiting for the clock to strike 5. Let's get to it!


This article originally appeared on 10.25.16

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

True

Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.
Identity

He asked her to turn down a promotion to spare his ego and the story went viral

Things are changing and it's time we all get with the program.

Photo by Mike Lloyd on Unsplash

The times are changing... slowly.

Twitter user Kimber Dowsett was bored and waiting to catch a flight when she caught wind of a couple arguing.

Like most of us would (though we might not admit it), she quickly found herself listening in on the juicy drama.

When she realized what the argument was about, she pulled out her phone and began documenting the scene on Twitter for the benefit of her 24,000 followers.


The couple was arguing about money, but not in a "What do you mean you forgot to pay the gas bill?!" kind of way. It was bigger than that.

The woman had been offered a promotion at work, and Dowsett couldn't believe she was listening to the woman's partner — a man — telling her to turn it down.


He'd be "humiliated," he told her, if she made more money than him, explaining that if she really loved him, she'd turn the promotion down.

Couple beside me at the airport is arguing over money. He just told her if she loved him she’d turn down the promot… https://t.co/SfTzr10pj0— bat (@bat) 1513701391.0

Really.

As Dowsett continued listening in, the man twisted the knife, so to speak, insisting his partner put his feelings above her career.

Shocked and enraged, Dowsett sat at her airport gate, listening as the woman began crying, promising her partner she'd never jeopardize the relationship. When the man continued to insist she turn down the job, Dowsett couldn't help it. "I just want to punch him," she tweeted.

omg she’s crying and said she’d never do anything to jeopardize their relationship and he’s like “good then turn do… https://t.co/iZIOMbj6c2— bat (@bat) 1513701492.0

It only went downhill from there.

According to Dowsett, the man had simply assumed that his partner would eventually leave her job altogether to take care of the kids. There's no point focusing on her career anyway, he told her.

He just told her once they’re married and have kids she wouldn’t be working anyway so there’s no point focusing on… https://t.co/QBs4U6c5R1— bat (@bat) 1513701698.0
OMG SHE WIPED HER TEARS & SAID “kids? who said anything about me ever wanting kids?!” https://t.co/WrFXgAWIOz— bat (@bat) 1513701795.0

The dramatic fight ended, Dowsett wrote, when the woman stormed off, leaving her now-ex to go on vacation with his own damn self.

Apparently Dowsett wasn't the only person who overheard the fight, as the people waiting at the gate burst into applause for the woman when she threw her boarding pass at her ex and told him to have fun in Cancun.

SHE THREW HER BOARDING PASS AT HIM AND TOLD HIM TO HAVE FUN IN CANCUN. SHE JUST RAGE QUIT. OMG PEOPLE CLAPPED WHEN… https://t.co/LqUmmKCibm— bat (@bat) 1513701956.0

The Tweet thread went viral, with people applauding the woman or just enjoying the absurdity of it all.

For all the conversation's viral hilarity, there's more than a kernel of uncomfortable truth in this story.

The wage gap still exists, but women are becoming more and more likely to be the breadwinners in their households and relationships. And that's not just single mothers. Some estimates say about a quarter of all marriages include a woman who earns more than her partner — a number that has quadrupled since the '60s.

This is a good thing — obviously! It's a sign that women are kicking ass in the workplace and finally getting more opportunities to advance, despite the wage gap and sexual harassment and other barriers women face in the workplace.

As the argument above shows, however, it's not a comfortable transition for every couple. After all, there is immense societal pressure on men to "provide for the family" and on women to slide into motherly, caretaker roles.

For the love of equality, dudes, don't be like Airport Guy. Be proud of your wives and girlfriends and partners for their accomplishments.

"Equal pay" is only going to get more equal, and the number of women in heterosexual relationships who out-earn or match what their male partners make is going to march closer and closer to half.

Being a man does not entitle you to a higher salary. Not anymore. Being secure in your masculinity and being a supportive partner means celebrating your significant other's successes. It means encouraging them to be their best and being proud of them when they succeed, even if it means they might be doing "better" than you.

Yes, some people might think it's "weird" if a wife or girlfriend makes more money, but things are changing and it's time we all get with the program.

Don't get swept away with this outdated idea of how things "should be" — or risk being immortalized by a viral Tweet thread in which you come off looking like a total jackass. It's much better to just enjoy having a relationship with a talented, intelligent, and ambitious woman, if you're lucky enough to have one.

This article originally appeared on 12.27.17

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!