Wine and Falling in Love

Wine and Falling in Love

It is important to begin the article with the mantra of an obvious fact – that wine is an amazing way to meet new people and get a between the lines look at who someone is.

Knowing your wine means knowing geography, culture, history and the art that goes into making the most sophisticated beverage known to us. Now, I don’t mean to say that you need to be a so called “wine snob” – because that only says you’re a snob. I mean getting to know more about the bottle you’re sharing together to show a sense of passion and culture to your character. What’s more attractive in a person than that?

Bringing a bottle of Yellowtail to a party, or ordering something that ordinary at a restaurant with someone is comparable to discussing how cultured and well traveled you are, then emoting on a recent trip to Daytona wearing a shirt that needs ironing. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank for a better wine, but just to put more thought and care into the bottle you open.

Wine and Falling in Love

For the novice in wine, a great way to start is to know what you like. What varietal do you like? Do you like Merlot? Then look at an independent wine agency, or simply head to your LCBO (especially one with a strong vintages section) and talk to someone there about different regions (BC and Oregon make amazing Merlots) and look for something in a comfortable zone price range that you’ve never heard of.

Being uncommon, doesn’t make a wine necessarily more expensive. Google it and learn more about it so you can discuss what you know. Learn some tasting notes, the layers of flavour, find out what cheese will go well with it, and show some care into what you’ve opened – that will go a long way to say a lot about you.

The advanced oenophile will already know what I’m talking about, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow further, and use your knowledge to even host a wine tasting – is there a better way to meet someone?

Build your business according to your lifestyle choices

Build your business according to your lifestyle choices

Here are eight things you can do to be sure you are getting the lifestyle you want first, and building your business around it. Because your happiness should be your number-one priority. Because “I wish I had worked more” is not one of the top regrets of the dying.

1. Establish your vision

Without a map, you go in circles. Your vision is that map. When you write it down, visualize yourself inside of it. Feel it, smell it, sense it. You may wonder how you are going to know what you will want 10 years from now, but your vision is a living, breathing document. It changes as you change. The important thing is to let it guide you every day.

2. Set lifestyle goals

We tend to focus only on goal setting when it comes to business. But what about your life? Some of my lifestyle goals are to salsa dance weekly, to continue my pursuit of being in the Olympics and to visit Africa this year.

3. Cultivate meaning

A purpose-filled life is the key to happiness. Each day as I meet people and interact, I plan to spread positivity and brighten the day for others.

4. Give back

I give as much as I can to many favorite charities, but I have a special love for Pencils of Promise. I am working on building my third school with them. Giving back is your unique way of adding value in the world. When we give, it multiplies. You are guaranteed to generate more prosperity than you could imagine by giving selflessly.

Call it karma. Call it cause and effect. Whatever you call it, it is the simple truth.

5. Strive for balance

There are plenty of nights when I am up later than I should be and times when I have spent more hours in a plane than I would like. I balance these times with eating healthy, relaxing with friends and connecting with family and loved ones.

I say strive for balance because there will be times when you are pushing hard for a deadline, or for a championship game, or a launch, and you will be outside the comfort zone for maybe longer than you wish. Set up some down time after big pushes to recharge for the next big thing. If you are playing big in life, there is always the next big thing, so balance isn’t necessarily about slowing down but being in touch with what recharges you and doing that when you first feel the need to avoid overwhelm and burnout.

6. Don’t forget to play

I am committed to add an element of play to everything I do. I live life with passion: dancing, laughing, playing my guitar, listening to music. I am always encouraging my friends, clients, or strangers to do the same.

7. Travel

I am blessed to have been to many amazing places around the world like Guatemala, New Zealand, Hawaii, Argentina, Spain and more. Travel keeps life in perspective and pushes me out of my comfort zone, challenging me to expand my understanding of the world.

8. Say “I love you”

Gratitude and love are the keys to fulfillment. I tell my family, friends, and employees how much I appreciate them as often as I can. There is no point in withholding, because you can’t take it with you. Your love is your wealth, so spend away.

Portrait of a Modern Career Woman

Portrait of a Modern Career Woman

Ariana is 29 years old, attractive career woman – or rather, she retains the last vestiges of her youthful beauty. OK, Ariana was never a stunner, never a first-rate head-turner. But with her slender body, her long, thick black hair and a mischievous face that suggested a profound appetite for naughtiness, she was sexy.

I use the past tense for a reason. In the two years we have worked together, I have observed a definite depreciation in her looks. In part, this is due to her love of binge drinking. Alcohol remains endemic in many industries in London, not least ours, where entertaining clients is a central part of the job.

Ariana attacked that duty with gusto, and the empty calories she loaded into her system over many drunken nights meant that she ended up carrying considerably more weight than when she started. Not enough to make her obese, but enough to render her formerly shapely legs matronly, and to give her once-angular features a doughy appearance. These unfortunate adjustments amended my rating of her from “would definitely bang” to “would probably bang, provided it were easy and there were no other options available.”

But Ariana was much-loved at work for her madcap ways and the amusing stories that her frequent inebriation provided. For her last day in the office, another (female) colleague prepared a PowerPoint presentation displaying some of her “finest” moments. The slides were largely composed of photographs taken from Ariana’s Facebook page. Many of them featured close-ups of her increasingly bloated, drunken face as she careened from one crazy night out to the next. One slide was dedicated to her love of drinking whiskey. Another to her penchant for red wine. A third focused on the short skirts she liked to wear.

More slides revealed her “yolo” exploits in the various five-star hotels in New York and Berlin the company had put her up in for business events. Her talent for attracting beta orbiters was referenced; and the fact that she had been banged by a male colleague was revealed on a slide celebrating her “horndog” nature. My assembled colleagues hooted and guffawed at these images, while Ariana looked on, held in the embrace of another girl, close to tears at her impending departure.

Tellingly, not one of the slides referred to her professional capabilities. To be fair, her skills were complimented by two of her managers in their summing-up. Apparently, Ariana had proved herself to be a linchpin of her team, and she had been personally responsible for managing multi-million pound accounts. Personally, I am skeptical. I worked on projects with her a few times: she was rubbish.

Building a career? Read these important tips

Building a career? Read these important tips

What do I need to do before pursuing a career? What types of goals should I set for myself? How will I stay motivated? Developing a career plan can help you outline a clear path as you begin looking for a new job.

In this article, you’ll learn how to assess what you need to develop your career objective, how to write S.M.A.R.T. career goals, and how to create your own career plan. We’ll also provide some different techniques you can use to stay motivated as you work toward your goals.

The 9 most important career planning tips is listed below:

1. Never Stop Learning

Life-long learning is your keyword.

The world is constantly changing, and everybody is looking for new ways of doing business.

If you have decided that your current skills are good enough, you have also decided that your current job is good enough.

But if you want a career in the future, you should add regular updates to your skills and knowledge.

2. Ask, Listen And Learn

A good listener can learn a lot.

Listen to your co-workers, your boss, and your superiors. You can learn a lot from their experience.

Ask about issues that interest you, and listen to what they say. Let them tell you about how things work, and what you could have done better. Most people will love to be your free tutor.

3. Fulfill Your Current Job

Your current job might be best place to start your career.

It is often very little that separates successful people from the average. But nothing comes free.

If you do your job well and fulfill your responsibilities, this is often the best way to start a new career.

Talk to your supervisor about things you can do. Suggest improvements. Offer your help when help is needed. In return ask for help to build a better career. It is often possible – right inside your own organization – especially if you have proved to be a valued employee.

4. Build Your Network

Your next career step might arise from your contact network.

Did you know that more than 50% of all jobs are obtained from contact networks?

If you have a good contact network, it is also a good place to discover future careers, to explore new trends, and to learn about new opportunities.

Spend some time building new contacts, and don’t forget to maintain the ones you already have.

One of the best ways to get serious information from your network is to regularly ask your contacts how they are, what they do, and what is new about their careers.

5. Identify Your Current Job

Your current job should be identified, not assumed.

Make sure you don’t work with tasks you assume are important. This is waste of time and talent.

When you start in a new job, talk to your superior about your priorities. If you’re not sure about what is most important, then ask him. And ask him again. Often you will be surprised about the differences between what you assume, and what is really important.

6. Identify Your Next Job


Your dream job must be identified.

Before you start planning your future career, be sure you have identified your dream job.

In your dream job, you will be doing all the things you enjoy, and none of the things you don’t enjoy. What kind of job would that be?

Do you like or dislike having responsibility for other employees. Do you like to work with technology or with people? Do you want to run your own business? Do you want to be an artist, a designer or a skilled engineer? A manager?

Before building your future career your goal must be identified.

7. Prepare Yourself

Your dream might show up tomorrow. Be prepared.

Don’t wait a second. Update your CV now, and continue to update it regularly.

Tomorrow your dream job may show up right before your nose. Prepare for it with a professional CV and be ready to describe yourself as a valuable object to anyone that will try to recruit you.

If you don’t know how to write a CV, or how to describe yourself, start learning it now.

8. Pick The Right Tools

Pick the tools you can handle.

You can build your future career using a lot of different tools. Studying at W3Schools is easy. Taking a full master degree is more complicated.

You can add a lot to your career by studying books and tutorials (like the one you find at W3Schools). Doing short time courses with certification tests might add valuable weight to your CV. And don’t forget: Your current job is often the most valuable source of building new skills.

Don’t pick a tool that is too heavy for you to handle!

9. Realize Your Dreams

Put your dreams into action.

Don’t let a busy job kill your dreams. If you have higher goals, put them into action now.

If you have plans about taking more education, getting a better job, starting your own company or something else, you should not use your daily job as a “waiting station”. Your daily job will get more and more busy, you will be caught up in the rat race, and you will burn up your energy.

If you have this energy, you should use it now, to realize your dreams.

What to do for a successful career planning

What to do for a successful career planning

Career planning is not an activity that should be done once — in high school or college — and then left behind as we move forward in our jobs and careers. Rather, career planning is an activity that is best done on a regular basis — especially given the data that the average worker will change careers (not jobs) multiple times over his or her lifetime. And it’s never too soon or too late to start your career planning.

Career planning is not a hard activity, not something to be dreaded or put off, but rather an activity that should be liberating and fulfilling, providing goals to achieve in your current career or plans for beginning a transition to a new career. Career planning should be a rewarding and positive experience. Here, then, are 10 tips to help you achieve successful career planning.

1. Make Career Planning an Annual Event

Many of us have physicals, visit the eye doctor and dentist, and do a myriad of other things on an annual basis, so why not career planning? Find a day or weekend once a year — more often if you feel the need or if you’re planning a major career change — and schedule a retreat for yourself. Try to block out all distractions so that you have the time to truly focus on your career — what you really want out of your career, out of your life.

By making career planning an annual event, you will feel more secure in your career choice and direction — and you’ll be better prepared for the many uncertainties and difficulties that lie ahead in all of our jobs and career.

2. Map Your Path Since Last Career Planning

One of your first activities whenever you take on career planning is spending time mapping out your job and career path since the last time you did any sort of career planning. While you should not dwell on your past, taking the time to review and reflect on the path — whether straight and narrow or one filled with any curves and dead-ends — will help you plan for the future.

Once you’ve mapped your past, take the time to reflect on your course — and note why it looks the way it does. Are you happy with your path? Could you have done things better? What might you have done differently? What can you do differently in the future?

3. Reflect on Your Likes and Dislikes, Needs and Wants

Change is a factor of life; everybody changes, as do our likes and dislikes. Something we loved doing two years ago may now give us displeasure. So always take time to reflect on the things in your life — not just in your job — that you feel most strongly about.

Make a two-column list of your major likes and dislikes. Then use this list to examine your current job and career path. If your job and career still fall mostly in the like column, then you know you are still on the right path; however, if your job activities fall mostly in the dislike column, now is the time to begin examining new jobs and new careers.

Finally, take the time to really think about what it is you want or need from your work, from your career. Are you looking to make a difference in the world? To be famous? To become financially independent? To effect change? Take the time to understand the motives that drive your sense of success and happiness.

4. Examine Your Pastimes and Hobbies

Career planning provides a great time to also examine the activities you like doing when you’re not working. It may sound a bit odd, to examine non-work activities when doing career planning, but it’s not. Many times your hobbies and leisurely pursuits can give you great insight into future career paths.

Think you can’t make a hobby into a career? People do it all the time. The great painter Paul Gauguin was a successful business person who painted on the side. It actually wasn’t until he was encouraged by an artist he admired to continue painting that he finally took a serious look at his hobby and decided he should change careers. He was good at business, but his love was painting.

5. Make Note of Your Past Accomplishments

Most people don’t keep a very good record of work accomplishments and then struggle with creating a powerful resume when it’s time to search for a new job. Making note of your past accomplishments — keeping a record of them — is not only useful for building your resume, it’s also useful for career planning.

Sometimes reviewing your past accomplishments will reveal forgotten successes, one or more which may trigger researching and planning a career shift so that you can be in a job that allows you to accomplish the types of things that make you most happy and proud.

Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

How many times will you change careers in your lifetime? If you’re like most people, you’ll change careers at least several times over the course of your life. How successful you’ll be in making transitions among careers can at least be partially attributed to the amount of career planning and preparation you’ve done.

Every job-seeker needs to take the time to step way from the day-to-day grind of work and spend quality time reflecting on your career and developing some plans for your future. Whether you love your current job and employer or feel frustrated and confined by your job, career planning can help. Think of career planning as building bridges from your current job/career to your next job/career; without the bridge, you may easily stumble or lose your way, but with the bridge there is safety and direction.

This article provides you with some basic guidelines for both short-term and long-term career planning.

Short-Term Career Planning

A short-term career plan focuses on a timeframe ranging from the coming year to the next few years, depending on the job-seeker. The key characteristic of short-term career planning is developing realistic goals and objectives that you can accomplish in the near future.

As you begin your career planning, take the time to free yourself from all career barriers. What are career barriers? There are personal barriers (such as lack of motivation, apathy, laziness, or procrastination), family pressure (such as expectations to work in the family business, follow a certain career path, or avoidance of careers that are below your status/stature), and peer pressure. And while career planning and career decision-making is an important aspect of your life, do not put so much pressure on yourself that it paralyzes you from making any real choices, decisions, or plans. Finally, career planning is an ever-changing and evolving process — or journey — so take it slowly and easily.

Long-Term Career Planning

Long-term career planning usually involves a planning window of five years or longer and involves a broader set of guidelines and preparation. Businesses, careers, and the workplace are rapidly changing, and the skills that you have or plan for today may not be in demand years from now. Long-range career planning should be more about identifying and developing core skills that employers will always value while developing your personal and career goals in broad strokes.

Are you shy? Discover best careers fit for you

Are you shy? Discover best careers fit for you

Feel like your quiet personality makes you the office outsider? Here are six careers where a reserved nature is an asset, not a limitation.

Does the phrase “small talk” make you cringe? If you’re a quiet person, navigating the social niceties of the professional world could be a real drag. You may even feel like your personality is holding you back from getting a leg up in your current career. But don’t count yourself out just yet. A quiet demeanor could conceal great powers of observation or analysis.

“People who are quiet might focus on data and things, rather than people, so there are some occupations [in which] they might be able to do a better job,” says Laurence Shatkin, a career expert and author of several books, including “50 Best Jobs for Your Personality.”

Ready to let your quiet attributes do the talking? Consider pursuing these careers where your natural inclinations could be your greatest assets.

Career 1: Accountant

When data talks, are you usually listening? An ability to sit quietly while poring over numbers could serve you well as an accountant.

If you prefer to keep quiet and focus on the details, this number-driven occupation could play to your strengths, Shatkin says. Reviewing financial statements, computing taxes, and reviewing accounting systems are some of the duties required of accountants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Accountants carry out their duties in either an office or at home, according to the Department of Labor. Sounds like you’ll have plenty of quality time to spend with your number-friends. Just keep in mind that this job may require meeting face-to-face with clients on occasion, in order to provide recommendations or explain your findings, the Department notes.

Career 2: Graphic Designer

Would you rather express yourself through images than words? Your skills as a visual communicator could take center stage in a graphic design career. Quiet people are often considered better listeners, Shatkin says, which means they may have an advantage in this creative field.

Why do graphic designers need active listening skills? In order to “really focus on what the client is trying to convey with the graphic,” Shatkin says.

But taking direction from clients isn’t the only time you’ll find yourself keeping mum. As a graphic designer, you might spend much of your time figuring out the best way to use colors, images, text, and layouts to communicate ideas, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sounding a little lonely? Don’t worry, graphic designers aren’t completely solitary. Being able to work in teams is also an important quality, as graphic designers often collaborate directly with a client or in conjunction with marketers, programmers, or other graphic designers, the Department of Labor notes.

Career 3: Software Developer

If you come up with your best ideas during quiet contemplation, a career as a software developer could deliver rewarding work. “Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While they may work in teams, most of the day-to-day work is solo, Shatkin says.

Daily tasks might include designing computer applications such as word processors or games, or creating the operating systems used in consumer electronics, the Department of Labor reports. Still, software developers don’t work in a vacuum. They will need to address feedback from customers about programs they develop, says the Department.

Career 4: Database Administrator

Do you like to quietly and thoroughly think over the task at hand before taking action? If so, you may want to think over a career as a database administrator. Talk about the need for quiet concentration: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in this career “a minor error can cause major problems.”

That’s because database administrators are responsible for organizing large amounts of data for important processes, like credit card transactions, the Department of Labor reports. Of course, where there are important databases, there are also users of those databases, which is why this career can also require “a fair amount of collaborative work,” Shatkin notes.

Career #5: Writer

Do you feel most comfortable when you’re up to your eyeballs in research and facts – with not a person in sight? Then you might have a calling as a writer. Quiet people often have a great ability to concentrate on slogging through information, Shatkin says. This kind of endurance can be a prized skill for writers, who, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, need to demonstrate strong research and proper citation methods to establish credibility in their work.

Writers produce work for many different mediums. In addition to writing for books and magazines, writers might create content for an advertisement, website, or TV or film script, according to the Department of Labor.

Yes, writing is often a solitary endeavor, but a supporting cast is needed to see manuscripts through to publication. As a writer, you would likely communicate regularly with an editor or client, the Department notes.

Career 6: Survey Researcher

Surveys are used regularly to help organizations test the waters of public opinion, but did you ever wonder who designs the questions? Survey researchers – that’s who. If you’re one for long hours of quiet contemplation, this could be the career for you.

The listening skills that seem to go hand-in-hand with quiet personalities can be the key to designing surveys that deliver reliable, meaningful results, Shatkin says.

No, surveys won’t tell you how they should be designed, but your employers might. “Part of [survey research] is finding out what someone needs to learn from the survey, and that requires really listening,” Shatkin says.

As a survey researcher, you could enjoy a good amount of silent work – like researching the survey topic, determining the best method for accurately capturing the desired information, or using statistical software to analyze the results, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Just note that you won’t be spending all of your time on Silent Street. Survey researchers can also be responsible for conducting surveys themselves by facilitating focus groups or interviewing people over the phone or in-person, according to the Department of Labor.

Top 3 Salary Negotiation Mistakes

Top 5 Salary Negotiation Mistakes

If you want to make adults squirm like kindergartners, broach the subject of salary negotiation. Talking money makes most workers uncomfortable. And while they want such talks to succeed, they make plenty of blunders. If only they had some basic negotiation guidelines.

So what’s the best way to avoid stumbling and also boost your confidence? Rebecca Warriner, a job search coach and owner of Woodland Recruiting, a Seattle-based recruitment and outplacement firm, has some salary negotiation tips when pursuing a win-win situation for you and the employer—rather than starting out defensively, assuming you’re going to get a low offer. Warriner notes, “Salary negotiation is a dialogue that the company and the candidate should be having throughout the hiring process. It should not be a one-time conversation at the end.” She says to embrace your power and how it relates to the negotiation.

Warriner, who’s been on both sides of salary negotiation for over 15 years, offers a handy list of negotiation mistakes to avoid.

Being unprepared. “I get pretty frustrated as a recruiter when I ask somebody, ‘What are your expectations as far as pay goes?’ [and they do not have an answer],” says Warriner. She suggests doing some homework, and then determining what you’d like to earn. Warriner recommends several methods, including using salary information Web sites, talking to recruiters, asking friends who work in human resources, or connecting with local professional organizations that have salary information.

Once you have a solid answer, practice it. Get in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eye and say, “I earned $55,000 at my last job and I am targeting the $60,000s in this job search.” If you feel you were underpaid in your last gig but aren’t sure about bringing it up, Warriner advises raising the topic in a positive light, underscoring that you’d like to increase your earnings as you make your next career move to better reflect your skills and experience. It pays to be confident with your salary negotiation counteroffer, she adds.

Playing games. Telling a prospective employer what you think they want to hear is risky business. “Oftentimes, a candidate will say that they are very flexible; that they are willing to take a step back in pay. Don’t say you’re really flexible if you’re not,” Warriner says. She points out that this approach assumes the company will be more invested in and attached to you at the end of the interview process, and therefore willing to offer you more money than you first asked for—but they won’t be.

The key, she says, is to be confident in the salary range you want, and walk away from jobs that aren’t offering it. More than anything, “don’t go through the [hiring] process to have compensation be the reason it doesn’t work,” she says.

Warriner also discourages pitting offers against each other, such as going to your current employer and saying, “I’d like to stay here, but this other company is offering me more.” She says “companies are not interested in candidates that are only interested in pay.” Warriner believes this will likely result in a lost job offer, and lost respect for you from all companies involved in the process.

Comparing apples to oranges. If you’re changing careers or moving into a different industry, Warriner says you should tailor your salary expectations. For example, a person moving from a larger company to a smaller organization, or from a corporate outfit to a nonprofit, should expect lower pay. She suggests looking at compensation factors beyond salary in these cases, such as the commute, benefits, the team you’ll work with and industry experience you’ll gain.

Stringing a company along. When the time comes to say yes or no, you need to be ready. Warriner believes that “the comp package is something that should have been talked about during the entire process,” so you shouldn’t encounter any big surprises. If it really is the first time you’re seeing the offer and you need time to review it, say something positive, such as, “I’m really happy to receive this offer. I am happy to work for this company. I just want to make sure I am seeing everything and would like tonight to think about it.”

Following bad advice. “A lot of advice on salary negotiation is really old fashioned,” says Warriner. “It is based on power plays and assumes that the company is being dishonest.” Some examples include delaying the salary conversation as long as possible, not giving a salary range/figure, or delaying your response to an offer for a week. Taking this power-play approach may cause the company to be turned off by you.

Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

How many times will you change careers in your lifetime? If you’re like most people, you’ll change careers at least several times over the course of your life. How successful you’ll be in making transitions among careers can at least be partially attributed to the amount of career planning and preparation you’ve done.

Every job-seeker needs to take the time to step way from the day-to-day grind of work and spend quality time reflecting on your career and developing some plans for your future. Whether you love your current job and employer or feel frustrated and confined by your job, career planning can help. Think of career planning as building bridges from your current job/career to your next job/career; without the bridge, you may easily stumble or lose your way, but with the bridge there is safety and direction.

This article provides you with some basic guidelines for both short-term and long-term career planning.

Short-Term Career Planning

A short-term career plan focuses on a timeframe ranging from the coming year to the next few years, depending on the job-seeker. The key characteristic of short-term career planning is developing realistic goals and objectives that you can accomplish in the near future.

As you begin your career planning, take the time to free yourself from all career barriers. What are career barriers? There are personal barriers (such as lack of motivation, apathy, laziness, or procrastination), family pressure (such as expectations to work in the family business, follow a certain career path, or avoidance of careers that are below your status/stature), and peer pressure. And while career planning and career decision-making is an important aspect of your life, do not put so much pressure on yourself that it paralyzes you from making any real choices, decisions, or plans. Finally, career planning is an ever-changing and evolving process — or journey — so take it slowly and easily.

Long-Term Career Planning

Long-term career planning usually involves a planning window of five years or longer and involves a broader set of guidelines and preparation. Businesses, careers, and the workplace are rapidly changing, and the skills that you have or plan for today may not be in demand years from now. Long-range career planning should be more about identifying and developing core skills that employers will always value while developing your personal and career goals in broad strokes.

Horrible female boss is still a problem

Horrible female boss is still a problem

Who would you rather work for: a man or a woman?

According to a recent Gallup poll, just over half of Americans say they don’t have a preference, but those who do strongly lean towards men. Forty percent of women and 29% of men say they prefer a male boss to a female one, and the results are even more skewed when broken down by political affiliation – Republicans, unsurprisingly given their socially conservative views, strongly prefer male bosses, while Democrats are about evenly split. That political divide helps to shed some light on why, in 2013, so many people still prefer to have men in charge. It’s a problem of worldview and stereotypes, not of inherent characteristics or lady-boss bitchiness.

The good news is that the preference for female bosses is the highest it’s been since Gallup started polling on this question in the 1950s. Back then, only 5% of respondents preferred a female boss, while 66% wanted to work for a man. But while the radical increase of women in the workforce has shifted views, we’re still not living in a society that sees women and men as equally competent, likeable and authoritative.

Americans don’t prefer male bosses because men carry some sort of boss-gene on their Y chromosome; Americans prefer male bosses because male authority is respected while female authority is unbecoming, and because the expectations are set so high for women in power that it’s nearly impossible for any mere mortal to meet them.

Even among ostensibly liberal, equality-supporting people, “that one horrible female boss I had” is a staple story in the work-and-gender debates. It’s an anecdote that gets trotted out for little discernible reason other than as a suffix to an “I’m-not-sexist-but” grimace; a way to demonstrate the speaker’s supposed honesty about the real problems with women in charge.

And it’s not a story that people are just making up – lots of us have, in fact, had female bosses who are less than stellar. The complaints vary, but are usually some combination of: she was bitchy; she was demanding; she wasn’t nice or understanding; she didn’t engage in enough mentorship of younger women; she worked unreasonable hours and expected everyone else to; she cut out too early to be with her kids; she was scary.

The problem isn’t the fact that some female bosses suck, it’s that if you have a crappy boss and he’s a man, the conclusion is “I had a crappy boss”. If you have a crappy boss and she’s a woman, the conclusion is “I had a crappy female boss, so female bosses are crappy.” No one sees a bad male boss as a reflection on all men everywhere, or emblematic of male leadership capabilities. But bring up women at the head of the table and every bad female co-worker or supervisor suddenly becomes Exhibit A for what’s wrong with female bosses.

I saw this too often when I worked at a large corporate law firm. Younger female associates felt put out when the small number of female partners weren’t there to adequately mentor and guide them, feeling it was the responsibility of the more senior women to take the younger ones under their wings in female solidarity and sisterhood. Of course, many of the female partners and senior associates did mentor the younger women, but women in law firms become fewer as you move up the ranks – we vastly outnumber men in the secretarial staff, are about even with them in the junior associate classes, and then become fewer and fewer up the seniority chain. By the time you reach the tippy-top, fewer than 1 in 6 are women. It’s a gendered seniority structure – pyramidal for women, tower-like for men.

Men, of course, can mentor young women, and many do. But they’re more likely to mentor junior male associates, not out of intentional bias but because they simply see themselves reflected in those young men, and can interact without any hint of impropriety. And the many men in power who don’t offer mentorship aren’t really noticed. But if women aren’t actively helping out other women every step of the way, we’re selfish and failing our gender.

When we do succeed, we’re also considered less likeable, while the inverse is true for men – successful men gain in likability. In one study, students evaluated the story of a successful entrepreneur, half the time described as “Heidi” and the other half as “Howard”. Even though the stories were identical, Howard was perceived as effective and likeable, while Heidi was deemed selfish and a less desirable colleague. In another, the simple change of a name from female to male on application materials led evaluators to judge the male candidate as more competent and hireable; male candidates were also offered higher starting salaries and more mentorship opportunities than female candidates with identical credentials.

From the time we’re little, girls are taught to play nicely, and the opinionated or determined ones are derisively called “bossy” – when was the last time you heard the word “bossy” applied to a little boy?

And even – especially – the most ardently feminist among us pin our hopes on the very few women at the top, and are even more spectacularly disappointed and angry when they don’t meet all of our ideals.

Those facts, widely publicized by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In, were ironically illustrated in the response to Sandberg’s book. When male CEOs write best-selling books on how to succeed in business, they’re roundly lauded. When Sandberg does it, she’s not adequately representing all women everywhere, and she’s an out-of-touch rich lady telling the less privileged what to do. She’s a know-it-all goody two-shoes and she doesn’t know my life. She’s bossy.

The take-away from the weight of the social science research on gender and power is that while you might truly believe your female boss was a real bitch or that your male boss was just better at his job, your views are colored by your boss’s gender. Your assessment of him or her might say more about your own unrecognized biases than it does about any objective reality.

In the course of my career, the majority of my most committed mentors, champions and door-openers have been women. I’ve had great female bosses, as well as great male bosses. I’ve also worked for total jerks, and the jerks have been fairly apportioned by gender – I’ve worked for more male jerks than female jerks, but I’ve also worked for more men generally. But even as a professional promoter of gender equality, I’ve caught myself making unfair and gender-influenced assessments of my superiors – the tone of her email was bitchy while his was just direct.

That’s the trouble with battling these forms of insidious, unintentional bias: most of us think we’re fair-minded people who don’t let things like gender, skin color, age or other factors influence our assessment of others’ skills or character, but that’s simply not the case. For the overwhelming majority of us who are not as fair-minded as we think we are, standard anti-discrimination policies and laws aren’t going to get to the root of the problem. What needs to shift is awareness – individual commitments to checking in and taking a step back to assess your own thoughts. It also takes institutional commitments to countering unintentional bias, both by ensuring diversity in hiring and promotion and by effective education about how bias actually works.

It’s heartening to see that more Americans than ever before state no preference for the gender of their boss. Now, we’ve just got to make sure that those stated preferences actually translate into the workplace.