Brace yourself for the most thorough compendium of research I’ve seen about how good-looking people get more of everything. The book is Looks: Why They Matter More than You Ever Imagined, by Gordon Patzer, professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago and former dean at California State University.

It is well-documented that good-looking people make more money than everyone else. Taller men make more money than shorter men. If a woman is just 13 pounds overweight, she is penalized at work. (Hat tip: Recruiting Animal.)

We are hard-wired to treat good-looking people better and it’s pretty much impossible to overcome this tendency. Patzer shows that this salary discrepancy is true even in law firms, where the partners doing the hiring are acutely aware of how illegal it is to favor good-looking people. Researchers at University of Texas, found that even mothers treat good-looking children better than average-looking ones.

Unintentionally, of course.

Before you complain about how unfair all this is, Patzer shows that good-looking people are actually better for the company’s bottom line. This is because highly attractive people actually earn more money for a company than average looking people. One study in Holland, for example, showed that companies with better looking management consistently billed more hours at higher rates than companies with average looking management.

And, while good-looking executives cost a company more money (because they have higher salaries), they actually increase the bottom line so much that the unconscious premium in pay that people give to the good-looking is actually a wise investment.

So what should you do if you are not good looking?

1. Stay out of sales and management.
These areas are where tall, good-looking people have the strongest advantage in objective performance measures, according to a study by management professors Daniel Cable, of the University of North Carolina, and Timothy Judge of University of Florida. This makes sense to me because leadership is so much about charisma, and charisma is so much about looks. And it makes sense that people will buy more stuff from you if they are attracted to you. (Hence the huge industry of turning cheerleaders into salesgirls.)

2. Be honest with yourself.
The more honest we are about where looks matter a lot, the less time we’ll waste doing something we probably won’t excel at. (This is where women have an advantage over men because women better understand where they fall in the spectrum of good-looking.)

For example, all else being equal, a good-looking woman will negotiate better for a company than anyone else—even a good-looking man, according to research by Sara Solnick of the University of Miami and Maurice Schweitzer from Wharton. Good-looking women drive harder bargains than everyone else, and good-looking women get more concessions than anyone else. (Makes sense, right? Since these are the women in highest demand for reproducing, the genes for good looks must come with genes for having a sense of entitlement when it comes to negotiating a good deal.)

3. Get plastic surgery. Maybe.
Before you get all over me about how insane this advice is, think about this: When I was a young girl, I remember hearing women talk about if it was “okay to dye your hair.” Today we don’t think twice about it. No one cares if you do or don’t, and many styles actually emphasize unnatural hair colors.

To be honest, I am way too scared to cut anything on myself. But still, plastic surgery makes total sense to me.

We don’t flinch when we hear that Cameron Diaz got a nose job or Brad Pitt had his ears pinned. It seems like a reasonable thing to do given their profession. And look at Chelsea Clinton. She did a few changes just as she hit the adult world as a consultant at McKinsey. She’s not an idiot, and she certainly does not seem obsessed by her appearance. But she realized that she was not great looking, and the plastic surgery seems to have made some improvements.

And just ten years ago, I remember talking with my friends about how gross Botox is. But my friend Sharon, who is a hairstylist in Los Angeles, says that the majority of her clients—who range from normal housewives to corporate lawyers—have had some sort of Botox injection. She says it’s so mainstream in Los Angeles that it’s almost a statement if you don’t have it.

My editor tells me that I’m going to get killed with this post. So here is my first pre-emptive strike: This post stems from my genuine worry that I will be behind the curve. I worry that I will be philosophizing about plastic surgery while everyone else is getting it and not even thinking about it. Like Botox. Or, here’s another example: Shaving off all of one’s pubic hair. Gen Xers debate it and philosophize about it while I just learned from Cosmo magazine that more than 75% of women in their 20’s just do it. No big deal.

Second pre-emptive strike: Every woman I know who is considering plastic surgery after having kids never ever would have considered it before that. It’s a time-of-life thing more than anything else, I think.

So my prediction is that soon we will all capitulate to the undeniable evidence that we have more opportunity in life if we are better looking, and it’s relatively easy to buy good looks. So we will. It will be something everyone does as they graduate from college, and not just the most rich and privileged kids. Plastic surgery will be for the go-getters and career-minded. Just you wait and see.

Will everyone please shut up about the typos on blogs? Show me someone who is blogging every day and also complains about someone’s typos. Just try. See? You can’t. Because anyone who is trying to come up with fresh ideas, and convey them in an intelligent, organized way, on a daily basis, has way too many things on their plate to complain about other peoples’ typos.

There is a new economy for writing. The focus has shifted toward taking risks with conversation and ideas, and away from hierarchical input (the editorial process) and perfection.

As the world of content and writing shifts, the spelling tyrants will be left behind. Here are five reasons why complaining about typos is totally stupid and outdated.

1. Spellchecker isn’t perfect.
Everyone knows that Spellchecker misses some words. And everyone knows that sometimes we think we are making a stylistic choice when we have actually made a grammar error.

And anyway, it’s nearly impossible for us to catch the errors that Spellchecker misses. If it were tenable to proofread one’s own stuff, then there would never have been a copy editor to begin with. And there is research to show that if the first and last letter of a word are correct then our brain adjusts for all the letters in between. (My personal favorite of all Spellchecker problems: form and from. Try it—there are so many cases when both words will get past Spellchecker.)

So don’t bitch to me that I should use Spellchecker.

2. Spelling has nothing to do with intelligence.
Usually the person who is bitching about spelling errors also has to make some comment about how the blogger in question is a moron—but you might want to rethink the idea that a spelling error is a sign of incompetence.

Many people with dyslexia are very smart. Most kids who win spelling bees have many signs of Asperger’s syndrome (see the documentary on this, which I love). This means that many amazing spellers actually have brains that are developing intellectual skills (in this case, spelling skills) at the expense of social skills.

So people who have spelling problems might be super intelligent with great social skills—if you’d just take the time to notice.

3. You don’t have unlimited time, so spend it on ideas, not hyphens.
I am extremely knowledgeable about grammar. I can parse any sentence. I can sign the preposition song in my sleep. So I feel fine telling you that there are great writers who don’t know grammar.

Real grammarians, by the way, have memorized the AP Stylebook. Newspapers and magazines have people who are paid to enforce these rules. There is no way a blogger could hire for this, and few bloggers can justify spending the years it takes to memorize The AP Stylebook. So you could spend your life reading the AP Stylebook, or you could spend your life spouting ideas.

So what if your ideas have hyphens in the wrong places and you turn an adverb into a noun? People can almost always figure out what you’re saying anyway, but they won’t care enough to try without a great idea lurking there to attract their effort. And there’s a reason that people who have amazing ideas get paid twenty times more than people who have amazing grammar: Ideas are worth a lot more to us.

4. Perfectionism is a disease.
If errors bother you a lot, consider that you might be a perfectionist, which is a disorder. Perfectionists are more likely to be depressed than other people because no amount of work seems like enough. They are more likely to be unhappy with their work because delegating is nearly impossible if you are a perfectionist. And they are more likely to have social problems because people mired in details cannot look up and notice the nuances of what matters to other people.

5. Use the comments section for what matters: Intelligent discourse.
The comments section of a blog is a place for people to exchange ideas. The best comments sections, of which I think mine is one, is full of smart, curious people who don’t spend as much time finding perfect answers (are there any?) as finding good questions. The best comments sections are full of people helping each other to sharpen the questions we ask.

So blogging is not an homage to perfectionism but rather an homage to the art of being curious. And while old journalism was hell-bent on being Right and being The Authority, new journalism understands that news is a commodity and opinion-makers are the layer that goes on top of the news to make it resonate. So stop wasting your time in the comments section parsing grammar and start contributing to the discussion.

The update on my company is that Ryan Healy and I are not talking to each other. Well, he is talking to me, but I am giving him the silent treatment.

Still, I am confident that things are going well. First, because I am bad at the silent treatment—I have too much to say all the time. Second, there is very good research about what makes a good entrepreneur. And the answer is that there is no single personality, but rather it is the type of person who can see their weaknesses and get a partner to compensate for that.

Ryan and I have done that with each other. And during my short stint of silence, I thought about how in fact, we are doing a lot of things right. Here are six things that entrepreneurs must do in order to have successful partnerships, and I think Ryan and I are doing them:

1. Make time for arguments because they are inevitable. You must consider this part of your job, in order to have constructive conflict.
We fight like we are married. Which says a lot, since I am in the middle of a divorce and he has never had a girlfriend for more than fifteen seconds.

So I call him from my kids’ soccer practice to tell him I am not calling him for a week. And I am the parent at soccer who is on my phone instead of cheering every good kick. This is my way of bringing diversity to Madison: if it were not for me, only men would do this at soccer.

To be annoying, Ryan calls me at 5pm, which is death hour to all parents who have hungry kids who are a half-hour from food, and he says he can’t manage cash flow because any question he has must wait 24 hours if it comes up at 2pm, which is when I stop working.

I want to be like, Duh! If I stopped working at 2pm then I would not have any time to fight with you from the soccer field. But I stay quiet because I am trying to be a more reasonable person to work with.

2. Remind yourself why you picked that person. You probably still need him for that reason.
I remember when Ryan and I were first thinking of going into business together. And we spent two months arguing over equity. There was the day I got so angry that I had to pull the car over to fight with him. And neither of us walked away from negotiations. Someone who really hates fighting would have called off the partnership right there. It was a sign that this is what our partnership would be, and we both signed on the dotted line.

In that fight, Ryan was more mature than I was. I was definitely right on the business issue we were arguing about, but he handled himself better. He was very calm. And that only made me more hysterical. (I hesitate to use the word hysterical, by the way, because I know that it validates Ryan’s propensity to call all women he ever comes into contact with “crazy” but whatever. Now he and his friends can have a four-syllable word they can use for variety.)

So, anyway, that’s how it is now. I envy Ryan’s ability to be even-keeled. I am not an even-keeled person.

3. Give each other feedback on strengths and weaknesses.
I’m also going to tell you the worst thing he said. He has no idea that this even bothered me. So right now is the part in the paragraph where he will jump ahead, amazed that I didn’t tell him something that was offensive. Because believe me, he hears about it every single time he is rude to me.

So, anyway, it was a day when we both got dumped. We had each had about four dates with people from Madison, which is, in itself, a miracle, because we are both fish out of water here, and neither of us really expects to find a long-term relationship.

But miracles happen. And we were both smitten. And then we were both dumped. Ryan is the great analyzer of our social lives because he thinks I am a social mutant and only know how to talk if CNN is interviewing me.

So, he says that he was dumped because she was a college girl and didn’t want the structured dating life that a recent grad wants. Then he tells me that I got dumped because I don’t dress like a girl. “You don’t even try!” he says, with his patented combination of exasperation and incredulity.

I’ve been around Ryan long enough to know what this means. He thinks I look like those moms who throw on designer jeans and a Calvin Klein T-shirt and think they have stepped up their game. And they have, for a going to a preschool play date.

So I wore that and I thought I was dressing up, and Ryan thinks I look like I’m in preschool-play-date mode.

4. Use the other person's expertise to improve yourself.
Really, Ryan gave good information about my wardrobe because there have been many times that I have not dressed quite right for television appearances and people have been largely unimpressed.

Also, I am good at taking criticism (lucky, since Ryan is good at dishing it out). So I implemented his recommendation to be girly in Austin, while everyone was Twittering at SXSW about how Mark Zuckerburg's interview sucked. I was down the street at Nordstrom buying accessories.

(There is no Nordstrom in Madison. I plan all my shopping trips at the intersection of the Nordstrom store finder and my speaking engagement itineraries. And, by the way, the next time I use scientific data to choose where to live I will never move farther than 15 miles from a Nordstrom. Nordstrom customers have good taste and Nordstrom opens stores near their customers. )

5. Be aware of generational differences, and don't assume you're above them.
We know we are a shining example of the generational train wreck in corporate America. And it’s not for nothing that Ryan just wrote a post about how the biggest problem in work life for Gen Y is not the Baby boomers but Gen X.

Sometimes we find ourselves laughing about what a stereotype we are. For example, Ryan always wants to collaborate and I want to be alone and answer emails.

He wants to socialize with everyone at work, and I am all about picking up my kids at school.

I asked him to fax something to a client, and he said, “Fax? Do I look like I’m forty years old? I don’t even know how to use a fax. Can’t they take a PDF?”

Ryan and I have parents who are roughly the same age, yet his parents call all the time because they think the company is so cool, and I don’t even think my parents could tell you the name of my company.

6. Startups are difficult for everyone. So don't get hung up on hierarchy. Or anything else.
I was going to tell Ryan today that his problem is that he doesn’t manage up. I was going to say, “Look at the sidebar on my blog. I write about managing up all the time. How about brown-nosing once in a while?”

But he would not take that criticism well. And anyway, he’d tell me he managed up the only night maybe in my whole life that I was drunk: at TechCocktail in Chicago, which I promised I would blog about, so thank goodness I’m getting it in now.

Ryan took off my nametag in an attempt to gain some anonymity while I was totally drunk and probably inappropriate. For us, that qualifies as managing up, probably. But then again, that was the night he told me I am the most socially eccentric person he has ever met, and I’ll never get a date.

I told him that men like socially eccentric because in bed it’s not about being social, so there’s just eccentric left, and men think that means a likely possibility of anal sex.

Ryan was silent. He was driving. But I don’t think he was silent because he was driving.

I said, “See. I told you I’ll get dates.”

I have been derailed for the last year by a fungus growing on my foot. I’ve actually had the fungus since my days as a volleyball player. All that time, and the few years after, I was uninsured, and I only went to the doctor if I felt my life was at risk.

So I learned to live with the fungus—you know, how you have something that is sort of private and you don’t do anything about it and then it becomes normal to you and there is no one talking about it to you to tell you how you’re crazy? So I just sort of got used to my fungus.

Until Madison. Until this winter, which has been colder and snowier than Alaska. In Madison my fungus got pretty crusty and yellow. I told myself that I would go to the doctor, but it didn’t happen. I told myself it’s a miracle that I pack school lunches and make an 8am meeting, so trying to get to a doctor would be laughable.

But this is not really about my fungus. The point is that we create so many excuses for ourselves not to do what we should be doing. I know you are thinking: “Right. So Penelope should have gone to the doctor.”

But you know what? It would not have changed my life to go to the doctor, so who cares? It was not contagious (my husband—who I am trying to train myself to call my ex-husband—did not get it in fifteen years), and it was not dangerous (no discolored, draining infections or swollen, bloody messes or any of the other stuff you may have thought of when you read fungus, if you have a mind that has a predilection for gross).

Here’s the big problem though: I kept not going to yoga all year because I didn’t want to have gross feet in yoga. The kind of yoga I do is Ashtanga, (and I love Ashtanga so much that I am including links to very short videos here and here.) I have been doing it for ten years and if I just do it for four days in a row, it changes me. I am happier, calmer, lighter on my feet, and more patient with the world.

But I wasn’t doing it. I told myself I didn’t want the teacher to see my fungus. I told myself I’d do yoga when I fixed my fungus. And I told myself I’d fix my fungus when I got my mornings under control and could take time to go to the doctor.

How lame is that? I kept that excuse chain together for one whole year. I can see how, in hindsight: I told myself the barrier to yoga was my fungus. But it wasn’t really my fungus, it was going to the doctor. But it wasn’t really going to the doctor, it was my workload. But it wasn’t really my workload, it was my perceived workload, because when I found out at the last minute that the kindergarten sing-a-long for parents was at 9am, I went. Regardless of workload.

So what’s the one smart thing I did? I told myself that the fungus was a stupid reason not to go to yoga. And I went to yoga. And I tried to hide my gross foot from my teacher. And then, in one pose he had to pull my foot around my back to my hand, and I didn’t even notice the pain because I was consumed with the thought that he was touching my foot. There is no way he missed the fungus. It’s not subtle. But he didn’t care.

And then I realized that I had created a totally artificial barrier to getting what I wanted: The yoga. I realized that the best way for me to get what I want the next time is to write out the chain reaction: I can’t do what I want because of X. And I can’t do X because of Y. And I can’t do Y because of Z. And then examine it—I am sure that somewhere in there is a weak link—somewhere in there is something that I can actually do, and then I am free to get what I want.

One of the hardest parts of managing your career is getting clear on what’s most important to you in the work you do. And it’s ironic that the true-but-cliched exclamation from new parents — “the kids force me to see what is really important in my life” — comes after we have navigated a big chunk of our careers. So a great strategy to find out what you should be doing in your career is to look at research about how you are likely to parent.

To this end, I am happy to report on the first few studies I’ve seen about what Generation Y is like as parents. The best part about generational research is that you can see yourself from a different perspective, and in a larger context. Your generation is never a perfect mirror of you, but it’s usually fairly accurate. Otherwise people wouldn’t continue to pay for the research, right?

Parenting styles reveal one’s true values, so reading this research is like giving yourself a jump-start on self-knowledge that usually comes after you’ve slogged through your twenties. Based on research about values that guide new millennium parenting, here are three things to seek out in new millennium work.

1. Look for good flow of information.
Generation Y sees information as a personal differentiator. As parents, Gen Y does not hesitate to give advice, and they feel confident that they have the right information at hand to make the right decisions for their kids.

And as employees, having access to premium information in their field, and being able to share it in a productive way, is very important to feeling fulfilled.

This is a hard nut to crack in the workplace because other generations conspire against you. For example, it is much more important to Gen Y than Gen X to be perceived as someone who gives good advice. Gen X is skeptical of all expert advice. And Baby Boomers think good advice comes only with age.

So stay away from offices that have hierarchy as a way to make people feel useful and important—it will mean a constipated flow of information. Companies that are truly good at creating team environments will probably provide rich information environments because not only do these companies encourage sharing ideas, but they value the flow of information enough to have shifted away from the focus on individualism of earlier generations.

2. Make sure you can customize your environment.
While Generation X is largely cynical about consumerism, Generation Y is known for fitting in by standing out and using consumer products as a means of self-expression. This generation has been choosing the color and style of their phones forever, and they have been customizing the colors on their Nikes.

Gen Y brings these values to their kids in the form of products like Webkinz. These infinitely customizable toys allow Gen Y’s kids to express themselves through kid-friendly consumerism. And the studies about Gen Y found that “Moms admitted to logging onto their children’s Webkinz accounts after their kids went to bed to help them earn more virtual currency and give them more fuel to further customize their virtual pets’ rooms.”

In the workplace, customization is a must in order to feel like you are being recognized for your authentic self by co-workers. The most common request in this arena is flexible hours, but you should also look for a company that focuses on playing to your individual strengths.

For example, ask someone to match you with the perfect mentor, or to help figure out what training you need and find you the right coach to do it. You won’t feel like you are making an authentic connection with your workplace if the workplace does not make an effort to address what is different about you.

3. Surround yourself with people who have faith in the future.
Members of Gen Y are optimistic parents. They worry much less about the future than their Gen X counterparts; Gen Y deals with the uncertainty of the future by living more in the present.

For example, while Gen Y has less tolerance for debt than other generations, they are saving less for college and retirement, figuring that the money will take care of itself. Another example is that Gen X parents care a lot about what their kids eat on a daily basis in order to establish good eating habits in the future. But Gen Y parents figure that the eating habits will work themselves out later on, and they don’t pay as much attention to daily food choices.

Gen Y also have more trust in kids’ abilities to learn all the time than other parents. For example, when it comes to media, Gen Xers want everything to be labeled officially “educational,” but Gen Y believes more in “invisible learning” — the idea that kids can learn from any media they use (with a caveat for violence).

In the workplace, these values play out in the quest for lifelong learning. Paying dues is out because the reliance on the certainty of pay-off in the future does not make sense in today’s workplace. Instead, focus on finding work that has payoff on a daily basis since you can never know what will come next in your work life.

Make each day one where you learn and have fun because putting that off for some maybe-payoff (like making partner at a law firm, or getting a fat paycheck) will make you feel like you’re not being true to yourself. Also, don’t be derailed by the cynicism of older generations. There is no rule that says they see the world more clearly than you do.

In the train wreck of Eliot Spitzer's political career, there are many workplace lessons. And lots of people are talking about Spitzer's career. But what about the call girl?

Ashley Dupre, who was Kristen in bed, was no slouch in the career management department. Sure, her breasts are plastered all over the Internet, but don't be so ignorant as to think you can't learn from someone like her. Here are three lessons.

1. Invest money in your career.
I write a lot about how when you don't have disposable income, you still need to spend money on your career so you can earn more money. I have paid for career coaching with my last dollar. I have bought clothes on credit to look like I belong in the position I was interviewing for. All good investments.

But when I wrote about how I got my teeth whitened for TV even though I was unemployed, so many money mavens complained to me that it was irresponsible spending. People constantly undervalue the return on investment you get from taking risks to invest in your own career.

So, Ashley goes to New York with basically no money, and the first big money she makes, what does she do with it? Breast implants! How smart of her! The implants cost about $3000, but after that, she can make $4000 an hour from guys like Spitzer. She made back her investment in an hour, everything else is profit.

2. Know what you are really selling.
You know why most people have terrible resumes? They can't figure out what they really bring to the table. If you really know what you are selling, then most of your resume is not going to be relevant. But people get mixed up about what they are selling. And they start just selling what they think they should be selling that second instead of analyzing the situation.

So Ashley figured out that she was having sex with the Governor of New York. In fact, a few women in her prostitution ring knew. They could have sold their story to the New York Post, but you know what? They make more money as call girls. It's not uncommon for a call girl to bring in $200,000 a year, and the perks are great—trips to Paris with billionaires, for example.

Once a call girl tells on a client, her career is over. Because, as Melissa Gira Grant points out, call girls aren't selling sex, they are selling discretion. Of course a guy like Spitzer could get a mistress, no problem. He's not great looking, but being the Governor of New York makes up for that. But the mistress is dangerous—she could talk. In a call girl, you buy discretion.

3. If you have two careers, make sure they have synergy.
A lot of people have two careers. It's a way to earn money and do what you love. It's a way to hedge your bets. It's just that you need two careers that somehow make sense together. If you want to be a lawyer, side work as a hooker is not a good idea. But Dupre wants to be a singer. And it's expensive to live in New York to build a singing career. So the hooker/singer combination is a decent idea just on that alone.

But look at the synergy after the Spitzer fallout: everyone goes to her MySpace page to see what she looks like, and then they notice she has music. More than four million people have heard her singing. And at this point, she's earned $200,000 in a month from downloads.

So look, it's not great that Dupre is stuck in court right now. But she did a lot of things right when it came to her career, and to be honest, Spitzer's political aspirations will tank from the call-girl-brouhaha. But Dupre's dreams of a singing career will probably be fine. If she had any talent to begin with.

Maybe the reason we’re so bad at saving for retirement is that retirement seems so ridiculous today. The workplace no longer demands that we put off our hopes and dreams until we’ve worked 40 years. And Baby Boomers aren’t exactly retiring in droves either, which makes younger people think that maybe they won’t want to retire either.

This demographic shift in thinking about careers leads to a new way to think about retirement and dream jobs and team work. Young people think their parents—Baby Boomers—missed out on this phase. Baby Boomers worked longer hours than any other generation and there’s a nagging feeling that it wasn’t all that necessary – that we can have engaging, rewarding careers without spending such a large percentage of our life at the office.

In fact, today there’s an intense peer pressure among young people to find the fulfilling dream job right away. This younger generation watched their parents put off their dreams until they paid their dues only to find themselves laid off mid-career, or underfunded for retirement late in their career. So Generation Y is not waiting.

Andre Blackman typifies his generation when he writes on his blog,, that, “If you work hard and keep pursuing your goals, things fall into place.” He is, of course, talking about those first few years out of college. Then he describes his own dream job as not about money or prestige but about working with “cool” people who “really know their stuff.”

The dream job for many people in the new workplace is a steep learning curve and freedom to contribute to the company in ways that are unique to oneself. Adam Copeland is an employee at Mirror Image, an Internet content delivery network. He has changed jobs within his company and he explains that the genesis of each move was the desire to increase his learning curve.

“I’m not even 30 yet,” he says, “I wanted to try something different.”

After a while, Copeland also found another way to create fulfilling work throughout a career rather than just at the end: Time for fun and travel. “I don’t need a castle and a moat,” he says, in a nod to the baby boomer tendency to work long hours for a huge home and put off enjoying it until later.

“I’d rather have something in the realm of time to travel,” Copeland says. For Copeland, fulfillment is a lifestyle that balances interesting work and interesting breaks. And this balance gives rise to the type of job that is fulfilling for its ability to compromise on many levels to get the benefits of work and play right now, without waiting.

For others, a dream job is contributing to the community in a way that matters. It’s impractical to wait until the end of one’s career—to retire from work and then start doing good. If nothing else, it’s a long time to wait to do good.

Sam Davidson, who blogs at Cool People Care, wrote the Gen-Y bible on instigating change for a practical generation. You can talk all day long about big change with big results. But what Davidson points out in his book, New Day Revolution, is that there are hundreds of smaller and probably easier steps we can take to make the world a better place. Davidson describes a lifestyle of micro change that can help you save the world.

Davidson focuses on a 24-hour period that most jobs can accommodate. Which means that any job can be a job that fulfills one’s need to make a difference, because anyone can use Davidson’s steps to “save the world in 24 hours.”

For Baby Boomers, the workplace competition was about money, and the material things that represent one’s earnings (after all, it’s so uncouth to talk about it). But Generation Y sees the competition as about fulfillment, and they are determined to get it.

In his post about his new dream job, Blackman writes, “And now if you will excuse me, I must break out into my secret victory dance one more time . . . .”

But maybe the most important thing to remember is that you don’t need a dream job to be happy. Your job cannot be a stand-in for relationships and people who care about you. A good job facilitates those relationships and often that is the sole reason that a once-quirky job now suddenly becomes reasonable and stable.

It’s very hard to write your own resume because a resume is a macro view of your life, but you live your life at the micro level, obsessing about daily details that have no bearing on your resume. So I recommend to a lot of people that they hire someone to help them. After all, spending money on a resume writer is one of the few expenditures that will have good return right away.

But some of you will be able to do a decent job rewriting your resume on your own. The first thing you’ll have to do is make some mental shifts. You need to rethink the goals of a resume, and rethink the rules of a resume in order to approach the project like the best of the resume professionals.

Here are three ideas that guide professional resume writers and should guide you as well:

1. Don’t focus on your responsibilities, focus on what you achieved.
A resume is not your life story. No one cares. If your life story were so interesting, you’d have a book deal. The only things that should be on your resume are achievements. Anyone can do their job, but only a small percentage of the population can do their job well, wherever they go.

The best way to show that you did your job well is from achievements. The best achievement is a promotion.It is an objective way to show that you impressed the people you work for. The next best way to show objective measures is to present quantified achievements.

Most people do not think in terms of quantified achievements when they are in the job, but on the resume, that’s the only part of the job that matters. No one can see that you were a “good team player” on your resume unless you can say “established a team to solve problem x and increased sales x%” or “joined under-performing team and helped that team beat production delivery dates by three weeks.”

If you are only putting achievements on your resume, you are going to be hard-pressed to fill a whole page. That’s okay. Anything on your resume that is not an achievement is wasting space. Because you don’t know what a hiring manager will look at first—and if you have ten good achievements and three mediocre lines about your life story, the hiring manager may only read those three lines—so remove them.

2. Don’t make your resume a moral statement; it’s a marketing document.
Think about when a company announced the launch of their product. First of all, the product is not done. Second of all, it has bugs. And third, the company is probably showing photos of prototypes and the real thing will look different.

All this stuff is fine. It’s accepted practice for marketing. The company will tell you that they are doing their best to get you the information you want in the way they think is best for letting you know what your consumer options are.

You need to take the same approach with your resume, because a resume is a marketing document. The best marketing documents show the product in the very best light, which means using whatever most outrageous tactics possible to make you look good. As long as you are not lying, you will be fine.

Here’s an example: You join a software company that just launched a product and the product had so many problems that they had to hire someone to handle the calls. You start doing the tech support, and you work tons of overtime because the calls are so backed up. You clean up the phone queue and then you start taking long lunches because there’s not a lot to do, and then you start job hunting because the job is boring.

Here’s how you summarize this job on your resume: Assumed management responsibility for tech support and decreased call volume 20%.

How do you know 20%? Who knows? It was probably more. But you can’t quantify exactly, so err on the safe side. But if you just say “Did tech support for a software company” no one knows you did a good job.

There is a fine art of almost-lying-but-not-lying on a resume. You need to talk about it a lot in order to know where you fall on the spectrum. Here is a sample of my own family discussions about what is lying and what isn’t.

3. Don’t give everything away in the resume.
The idea of a resume is to get someone to call you. Talk with you on the phone. Offer you an interview. So a resume is like a first date. You only show your best stuff and you don’t show it all.

Some people dump everything they can think of onto their resume, but a resume is not the only chance you’ll have to sell yourself. In fact the interview is where the hard-core selling takes place. So you only put your very best achievements on the resume. Sure, there will be other questions people will want answers to, but that will make them call you. And that’s good, right?

For those of you who can’t bear to take off the twenty extra lines on your resume because you think the interviewer has to see every single thing about you right away, consider that we have statistics to show that people don’t want to know everything up front. It does not make for a good match. Of people who got married, only 3% had sex on the first date.


I was thinking about blogging about job hunts today. Or managing up. Or one of the hundred or so topics that are always safe to go to if you blog about careers. But I decided that I can't ignore the fact that someone hacked into my RSS feed and put a bazillion porn links at the bottom of my post about taking notes.

It would be too weird that 20,000 people received the list of porn sites and I'm not saying anything about it. So, here I am, saying something: I'm really sorry for the problem.

I want to tell you that this is the first time my blog has been hacked. But it's not. I haven't written about the hackers because I didn't want to encourage them. It's amazing to me that people take the time to mess with this blog.

But things got a little clearer now that there's porn involved. The hacking starts looking a little too close to the types of comments that I used to get on Yahoo Finance. The kind that started with the fact that I was a woman and then went on to say how stupid I am and eventually came to outrageous sexist slurs that Yahoo had to pay someone to monitor and remove.

I get asked a lot about the disparity between men and women in the workplace. In fact, just today I did an interview where I said that I do not think there is disparity. There is not disparity in paychecks. (In fact, in big cities young women make more than young men for the same work.) And the disparity that comes later in life is the result of women choosing to spend more time with their kids than the men do.

So you won't find me complaining about gender in the workplace. But I do think that the web is a different story. The anonymity brings out the sexist behavior that men know very well to hide at work.

So you'd think I'd be angry, right? But I'm not. The only time I got angry was when I couldn't find my IT guy to tell me how to fix the problem. But beyond that, I believe that most people are good and that holding grudges gets me nowhere.

So much of the career advice I give is based on the idea that you can teach yourself to be nice—even to people who hate you—and being nice is an end in itself. I really believe that. And I am not angry with the person who messed up my feed. I am mostly blown away that he would take the time to do it.

I also write a lot about community. The reason I blog is because I love the conversation, and I love how we depend on each other to show up regularly, ask good questions, and provide a reality check when it comes to the absurdities of life at work. So it shouldn't have surprised me that a lot of people sent me an email this weekend. But the amount of concern and encouragement that people showed in their emails was touching. And in a way, getting hacked makes me feel so lucky that I'm part of a community that cares. So thanks.

Oh. And also, thanks for being my test case, because I can't tell if we've fixed the feed problem until I send another post through the feed. So, here's hoping …

Here’s the scene: Ryan Healy and I are going through all the stuff we need to change on our new site. We have ideas to spruce things up. And also we’re sick of all the stuff we do by hand. We need more automation. And we look over at Ryan Paugh, and he’s not taking notes. I say, “Ryan you need to remember this stuff. Will you take notes?”

He says, “I’m taking mental notes.”

If this were a joke, it would not be funny. But Ryan Paugh is serious. Which Ryan Healy and I understand immediately. And we fall on the floor laughing.

I tell Ryan Paugh that mental notes is a joke. No one takes a mental note taker seriously. It looks like they don’t care. “Even if you’re a genius,” I tell him, “you have to take notes to show you are engaged.”

It used to be that note taking was for secretaries. When hotshots didn’t type, hotshots didn’t take notes. But now we know that people actually learn more when they write as they listen, and people learn more when they translate what they are hearing into their own idea nuggets, so it makes sense that writing notes is a hot-shot job now. Everyone takes notes.

Look at the Democratic debates. Every time Hillary or Barack did not like what was happening, they took notes. Not that I believe they need to take notes. I mean, each of them must have practiced their answers to every possible question 400 times. There are no spontaneous ideas in a presidential debate. I think the candidates actually use note taking to get a break while still looking attentive. They can put their head down, scowl, and write something like, “I hate Hillary I hate Hillary,” and then look up, bright and smiley.

Fast-forward to my last meeting with investors, where the guy I’m with, who is a great guy and will probably invest in our company, outlines how he’d like to run the financing. I reach into my bag to get a pen and paper, and I realize I don’t have one. I dig a little, but I actually feel that it looks disorganized to dig too much in one’s purse. And besides, I don’t want to dig and then come up with nothing—that is disorganized and desperate.

So I decide that I can memorize what he’s telling me. Anyway, what entrepreneur forgets how much someone is giving to her company? It’s not a number you forget.

But then he stood up to write more financing options on the white board. I glanced down at my purse to see if a pen materialized. I watched the white board carefully, thinking that he will think I’m very smart that I am one of those people who remembers everything. Like the waiters at expensive restaurants who don’t write down your order and get it right every time.

But then the financing got very complicated, and surely you know, I am not a finance person. Ryan Healy is actually good at finance, and I was thinking he should have been there. Then I thought: he should have been there because he would have brought me a pen.

Then I wanted to ask the investor for a pen. But I thought if I ask now, he’ll know that I am not actually a person who can memorize every little thing, and that I probably have forgotten half of what he said in this meeting, and then things will not be going well. So I just sat, and tried to remember as much as I could.

He picks up an eraser and makes a move to erase the board so he can write more: “Do you have all this?” he says. “Can I erase it?”

I say, “Uh huh.”

He says, “I guess you’re a person who takes mental notes.”