Stories by Amy Schurr

Networking no-no's

How many of you have encountered someone at a networking event who came on too strong and wouldn't let you escape the conversation until you dashed to the restroom? Overly aggressive behavior is just one of many networking no-no's that you can commit.

Cube courtesy

Life on the cube farm puts everyone in close quarters, and
sometimes a co-worker's idiosyncrasies can drive you mad. Many
of us have encountered a colleague whose gymbag of sweaty
clothes festers for weeks, or an office mate whose personal
calls carry through the entire floor.

Cisco adds simulation to CCNA exam

Prospective Cisco Certified Network Associates hitting the books to prepare for the certification exam better devote some time to practicing with routing and switching gear. As of March 12, the vendor introduced a new simulation-based exam that assesses candidates' hands-on knowledge.

Mailbag: Love at work

My newsletter about attitudes towards romance in the workplace ignited passionate responses from several readers. Some say managers should mind their own business about what employees do in their personal lives, while others have watched the fallout from workplace relationships that ended badly.

CCIE gains a security track

Those pursuing Cisco's most advanced certification have a new pinnacle to reach for - the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Security. Adding to the traditional focus on core IP routing and switching, the new CCIE program emphasizes a broad range of security-related technologies.

Stepping up security

IT professionals say their employers don't do enough to secure
their workplaces, according to the results of a survey from

Mailbag: Evaluating a job offer

In a recent newsletter, I cited some factors to consider when evaluating a job offer. I heard from several readers who shared resources or outlined their own criteria.

Women move closer to pay parity

Women in IT are closing the salary gap between their male counterparts, according to the results of Brainbench's 2001-2002 IT Salary Survey. While IT is still dominated by men, women are making significant progress towards pay parity.

Deferring dollars

You probably don't need a survey to tell you that salary increases are likely to be smaller than in recent years. But at least most companies are continuing with their normal policies for the timing of raises. That's according to the latest research from Culpepper and Associates, an IT compensation specialist in Alpharetta, Ga.

Racing against the clock

A reader named Melissa wrote to ask for some information about
time management, a perennial challenge. "I am an extremely hard
worker who is very dedicated, but lately I find myself at the
point where I just have way too much to do - and of course not
enough time to do it all," she says. Does that sound familiar?

Love at work

Desks around the country were adorned with flower arrangements last week, and many of the Valentine's Day sentiments may have come from fellow co-workers. Workplace romance is becoming increasingly common, but few companies have policies to address the issue.

Layoffs as a last resort

Research from the Society for Human Resource Management shows that most organizations do whatever they can to avoid layoffs. These corporations resort to layoffs only after other budget-cutting measures fail to be enough, according to the SHRM 2001 Layoffs and Job Security Survey.

Free training videos

Many of you are pursuing certification to advance your career but don't have a lot of money to invest in training and study materials. Here's a resource that might interest you - free videos from CBT Nuggets.