A reader writes:

Recently, my boss started attending personal therapy (she shared this information with me unprovoked) and shortly after starting her sessions she discovered Brene Brown. Her interest in Brene has moved from simply showing a video during a group meeting to having us all read through one of her books.

My concern comes from the fact that in addition to reading the book as a team, we now have a weird “group therapy” sort of session weekly where we’re expected to have done some homework (reading and completion of “exercises” in the workbook).

In addition to these meetings, every day each team member fills out and completes this short survey:
-Intensity of feeling
-High point
-Low point
-Daily goal

It ends up looking something like this (names changed, as it’s one of my coworker’s recent posts):

Feeling: Exhausted
Intensity of feeling: 10
Low point: INFANT’S NAME is crying at the bottom of the stairs while I’m in the office. He barely slept last night, his croup is awful and I feel like a crap mom.
High point: Meh
Goal: Make a dent in the Brene Brown book. I did make my Square Squad!

In addition to just feeling like this is generally weird, I have a personal problem with this as someone who has a mental health disorder. Reading this book has triggered sessions of me profusely crying out of nowhere, and having flashbacks of abuse. (I have a C-PTSD diagnosis due to an abuse history.) There is not a single person on our team who has any sort of psychology/social work type of degree either.

Am I being weird about this just because of my own personal experiences? Or is this type of task expectation at work normal, accepted, okay?

No, this is not normal! It’s not okay either.

That said, in the past two years I’ve received a small handful of letters about offices doing things like this (to the point that I wrote a Slate column about them at one point), so something is going on in our culture that’s making some managers think this is okay. But I want to be clear that just because your office isn’t absolutely alone in doing this, it’s still not common, normal, or acceptable, and most people would object to it.

This type of thing is clearly intended to be supportive in some way — “we care about you as a whole person, not just as a worker!” — but in reality it’s horribly boundary-violating. Lots of people don’t want to share their personal emotions in a workplace setting.  Sometimes that’s because what’s going on with them emotionally is way too big or serious to bring into their office.  Sometimes it’s because sharing in the way requested could open them up to discrimination (particularly when they have a non-mainstream identity). Sometimes it’s because it’s actively bad for their mental health (like your PTSD). And sometimes — much of the time — it’s just because they rightly feel it’s no one’s business.

And this just isn’t what most of us are at work for. Most of us want to do our jobs, get results toward our goals, have some pleasant interactions with our colleagues as we do that, and then go home. Lots of us want to save deep personal introspection for friends, partners, or therapists (if we want to do it all, which we might not and that’s okay too).

You noted that no one on your team has any kind of training in psychology. Even if they did, this still wouldn’t be okay because of all the reasons above. But certainly that makes it even more egregious. Your manager is mucking around in an area that can be big and serious and consequential, without any qualifications for doing it. (But again, even with loads of credentials, it would still be inappropriate to do at work, particularly as a non-optional group activity.)

If you want to push back against it, I’d tell your boss you’re finding these activities harmful to your mental health rather than helpful. If you’re comfortable sharing this, you could say it’s at odds with mental health work that you’re doing on your own/with a therapist. (If she pushes you about why, you can say, “That’s more personal than I’m comfortable going into at work.”) Ask that the meetings be made optional, and that people be able to opt out without any kind of penalty. Even better, if you sense anyone else on your team isn’t fully enthused, talk with them ahead of time and then have this conversation with your boss as a united front.

And managers: You are not a doctor or a therapist or a life coach. You are there to get work done. If you want to support people’s mental health, you can offer excellent health insurance, be flexible with people who need time off for various forms of mental health support (whether it’s therapy or just a day off to avoid burn-out), and be thoughtful about the levels of stress you ask people to take on. That’s it. Leave people’s emotions and personal lives to them to manage.

You may also like:my boss wants us to all share our mental health needs – at every meetingwe have twice-daily mandatory group therapy at workour boss pushes us to share how we’re doing emotionally at team meetings

my manager makes us do mental-health surveys every day was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Original Source: askamanager.org

It may sound counterintuitive, but managing your money gets easier the more you have. When you cross a certain income threshold, you can afford to pay a wealth management company to sweat the details. All you have to do is sit back and watch your money multiply.

For a broke college student, money management is a bit more hands-on. It’s important to start building a base of financial knowledge in early adulthood, but the resources at your disposal are limited. Unless you have wealthy parents bankrolling your expenses, you need to find free or cheap ways to start gaining financial literacy.

Thankfully, most universities are brimming with free financial resources for students – all you need to know is where to look. Here are a few options to get you started.

Take Personal Finance Classes

As a senior in college, I took a basic personal finance class offered through the business school. As the daughter of a CPA, I’d always had a passing interest in money management. The course taught me fundamentals like how to budget and how insurance works.

It was a helpful primer for life after college. Learning about what a deductible is and how 401(k)s work prepared me for my first post-grad job, giving me the tools to get the most out of my benefits package and entry-level income.

Many colleges offer introductory personal finance classes within the business school or finance department. Unlike other business-related courses, these classes are often open to non-business majors and usually don’t have any prerequisites.

These courses generally won’t count toward your major so consider it a fun elective to take if you have a free spot in your schedule. Some colleges only have one basic personal finance class, while others have several designed to be taken together.

These classes go through concepts like budgeting, debt management, insurance, taxes and investing. If you have questions about more complicated topics, you can reach out to the professor during office hours. Even after graduating, I would still email my personal finance professor with specific questions.

If you’re already taking the maximum amount of credit hours, you can still take advantage of a college personal finance class. Whitney Hansen, Host of The Money Nerds Podcast, is an Adjunct Professor at Boise State where she teaches personal finance. She said students who are busy or don’t have any credit hours can audit a personal finance course instead of enrolling.

Auditing means the course won’t show up on their transcript or use up any credit hours. They also don’t have to worry about attendance or the grade affecting their GPA. Hansen said she always sets aside seats for students who are interested but can’t add another class to their official schedule.

Find Personalized Help

Some colleges offer specific workshops or employ dedicated counselors to provide financial advice to current students. As more and more people push for an increased emphasis on financial literacy in higher education, these options are becoming more readily available every year.

For now, the problem is knowing where to look. If you’re a freshman or go to a large school, finding these programs can be particularly difficult.

“A lot of universities have their financial resources spread out in a few places,” Hansen said. “The best places to look are on your school’s financial aid office website, student affairs department, admissions office, and talking with your academic advisor.”

If you can’t find any personal finance workshops, you can request that the college add one to the docket. Colleges often have a special discretionary budget for student events, and anything directly aimed at promoting post-graduation financial success will be an easy sell.

“Depending on which school you attend, you may also be able to find free personal finance programs or workshops offered through student life/affairs, or as one of the spokes of your school’s overarching wellness program,” said Tara Falcone, CFA, CFP®, Founder of ReisUP and creator of online financial literacy program, LIT. “Finally, you may have the opportunity to attend free personal finance workshops led by alumni who are passionate about financial literacy.”

Go to the Library

If you’ve already got your classes scheduled or your college doesn’t offer financial workshops year-round, you’ll have to take your financial education into your own hands. Start by checking out beginner personal finance books at the college library. 

All of these books will be in the same nonfiction section, usually near business and marketing books. College libraries often have longer loan periods than public libraries, so you should have plenty of time to get through whatever you choose to check out.

If you’re having trouble finding a specific personal-finance book, you can request that the college library purchase it. You’ll probably have to talk to a librarian and fill out a request form. You could also visit the local public library and see if they have a more varied selection.

One age-appropriate selection for college students is Erin Lowry’s “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together.”

Lowry, also a Mint contributor, answers elementary questions like, “What kind of bank account should I open?” and “What is an emergency fund?” Her book is easy-to-read and designed for those with no prior personal finance knowledge.

Contact Your Bank

Your bank wants you to be financially successful. The more capital you earn, the more you can save, invest and borrow in the future. Because of this, your bank has a vested interest in helping you learn about personal finance. 

Many banks offer personal finance workshops to customers looking for a better understanding of their finances. These events cover topics like creating a budget, paying off debt and buying a house.

If your bank has a local branch, see if they have any workshops scheduled. Visit your bank’s website or call the branch directly. They may have in-person sessions, virtual classes or webinars. You can also ask if they have financial counselors or educators who offer one-on-one support.

Sometimes you can request the bank to facilitate a workshop for a group, like a club or sorority you’re part of.

If your bank doesn’t have a physical location near you, see if there’s a credit union attached to your school. This is common with major universities, and these credit unions may have special programming designed for college students. You may have to join the credit union to attend a workshop, but they’re often open to the general public.

The post Where to Find Free Financial Resources in College appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Original Source: blog.mint.com

banks helping coronavirusMaskot/Getty Images


If you’ve been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, your bank may be offering payment assistance for your mortgage, car payments, credit card, personal loan, or private student loan.
We’ve listed 34 banks that are offering assistance, including Bank of America, Capital One, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.
If your bank isn’t on this list, contact them directly to ask whether they’re offering payment assistance.
Read more personal finance coverage »

If you’ve lost work due to the coronavirus, you may be scrambling to figure out how to pay your bills

Thankfully, numerous banks are offering assistance to customers who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus. You may be eligible for payment assistance toward your mortgage, car payment, credit card, personal loan, or private student loan.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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