The value of work

A few days ago, I received an email from LinkedIn inviting me to participate in a survey. The title of the mail said: Beate, what do you find valuable about your work? – “Good question!” – I thought to myself. I hadn’t thought about that for a long time. Yet this is certainly one of the central questions when it comes to what activities and in what functions someone feels “in the right place” – and in which they do not.

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Eyes wide open when choosing a profession!

Vocational Helpsheet from the Federal Job Center: Civil servant at federal institutions  (senior and executive, non-technical grades) 

Do you still remember the “Vocational Helpsheet”?  These brown and white booklets from the Federal Job Centre were THE source of information on “what I want to be when I grow up” – at least at the time when I was tackling this question. A profession was presented in detail in each booklet and the fact that ultimately there were “only” about 700 titles to choose from makes it clear how challenging the choice was.

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A roll called heathy

A culinary imposter

In the Netherlands, every lunchroom, every bakery that sells filled rolls and every café has “broodje gezond” –  a so-called healthy roll – on the menu. I was initially very impressed, because it is not a matter of course to be offered a healthy alternative competing with less nutritious treats. I don’t want to tangle with all the bread-roll shop owners in the country and immediately commend all those whose “healthy rolls” really are healthy. But in my experience, they are a very small minority.

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About company takeovers – and those taken over

Part 2: The integration phase

During the integration phase in the first months after a company takeover, the new employees can expect to experience all levels of emotion, from absolute nightmare to permanent elation. Much depends, of course, on how satisfied you were with the “old” company. If you have been complaining about decision-making inertia or even inability there for years, you may be pleased with the dynamism you encounter in the new company.

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The unromantic start of a relationship

About company takeovers – and those taken over (Part 1)

According to Manager Magazin, more than 2000 German companies were acquired in 2021 – despite Corona.(1)  This not only involves huge financial transactions, but also employees who suddenly have a new employer on “D-Day”. And – in contrast to changing companies by applying for a job – they did not choose it themselves.

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An answer to everything?

But the question is simply, “Which one?”

Here in the Netherlands I am often asked very interesting questions. Older relatives of my husband’s, who are not familiar with navigation devices (or even Google Maps), call and ask me for the best route to drive from Würzburg to Tauberbischofsheim. Now, I haven’t been to this – undoubtedly very beautiful – region of Germany very often and can’t do much to enlighten them. That’s why I almost have a guilty conscience.

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The Crazy PMPprep – A Novel

Let me say this right away: I don’t really know anything about project management – what I do know is just enough for the usual small projects of my professional and private everyday life. And I don’t need to know much more about it.

My motivation for reading “The Crazy PMPprep” (A novel to prepare for PMP and CAPM certification) was therefore not to further qualify myself in the field of project management (or even to get certified), but simply curiosity. I witnessed various discussions between the authors during the writing process and wanted to know what exactly it was all about.  So I asked the authors, my Harlequin colleagues BCO and RGE, for the manuscript and after only 30 pages fell for the charm of the tragic hero Henri, music therapist in a psychiatric institution.

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Empathy and dead aunts

A few days ago I had a look at a training video on LinkedIn. The course was about “Empathy for Customer Service Professionals” and while I was actually looking for something completely different I was hooked. (That’s what often happens on these platforms – the algorithms send you merrily through the inventory and at some point you’ve completely forgotten what you were originally looking for).

The course was relatively short and an American trainer explained clearly what empathy is all about. Some practical examples were role-played.

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