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Get Reworked

Author: Siobhan Fagan

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Forget the status quo — Get Reworked. Join the editors of Reworked, your guide to the r/evolution of work, as they interview business leaders transforming the way work gets done today.

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58 Episodes
Human resources — and the role of the chief HR officer with it — has been seeking a proverbial "seat at the table" for years now. The difference now is, more of them are not only gaining that seat, they are "helping design the table." In this episode of Get Reworked, we speak with Don Robertson, EVP and CHRO of Northwestern Mutual about his approach to employee experience and how his previous experience on the business side informs how he operates — namely, with a business-first mindset.  "Many of the things that we have to do require you to put together business cases to look at the financials, to look at budgets, all these things and if you don't have strong financial skills, if you don't have strong ability to really put together business cases, just like you would if you're the investments team, and you're putting together a business case, to go do an investment to buy a building or do something, you have to have those kinds of skill sets. I can't just go in there and say, hey, we should invest $10 million in a new HR system, because our people will like it better and will have better engagement," said Don. "No, I have to be able to show: if we do this, we'll get more adoption. If we get more adoption, then people leaders will do what we need them to do. And they'll ultimately develop their people better. And therefore you'll have the talent you need. And these are the kinds of investments you need to make so that you know our engagement goes up or attrition goes down or we get better adoption. And you just start talking about the actual attribution things that you benefit from by doing these things. And I can tell you in a zero sum game and the world we live in with budgets and everything else, you have to be able to make those cases." Highlights of the conversation include: Why data is a modern CHRO's best friend.  How Northwestern went from employee engagement in the low 40s to over 80%. The role HR business partners play in Don's work. How Northwestern approaches the employee expectation-business need balancing act. The role he sees HR playing with AI adoption. Plus, hosts Nidhi Madhavan and Siobhan Fagan talk with Don about why he thinks rolling back on EX efforts is a mistake, how he's consciously developing the skills of his potential successor and why he thinks anyone working in HR would benefit by spending time on the business side. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
Collaboration can be taught and learned. Yet few organizations are actively teaching employees how to master this critical skill.  In this episode of Get Reworked, we speak with Deb Mashek, founder of Myco Consulting, LLC to learn how companies can move collaboration from a platitude on their office walls to a capability found throughout the organization.  "if you want to see a lot of collaboration, if you want to have a collaborative culture, first of all, you need to make collaboration possible. That sounds so obvious, but it means that you can't create weird infrastructures where people can't actually contact each other, which we saw when in 2020, a lot of us migrated very quickly from being fully in person to being fully remote, where there weren't a list of people's email addresses or phone numbers and so it wasn't clear even how to contact people. We didn't have a lot of us access to videoconferencing yet," said Deb. "So the modalities the infrastructure wasn't there to actually collaborate. And thankfully we a lot of us were able to onboard that fairly quickly." Highlights of the conversation include: Why organizations aren't teaching collaboration. Whether collaborative efforts are ever a waste of time. How to hire for collaborative mindset. The broader collaborative ecosystem businesses should keep in mind. The five questions to establish if your organization is equipped to collaborate. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Deb about how she came to specialize in collaboration, why helicopter parenting stunts collaborative skills growth and how to avoid running your business like a filthy dive bar. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at
Low-code tools promise to put the power of easy process fixes into the hands of employees. But beyond individual productivity improvements, citizen development offers employees a chance to improve collaboration skills, increase their technical know-how and gain visibility for work outside of their typical workplace roles.  In this episode of Get Reworked, we talk to Shaelyn Otikor-Miller, SVP and head of global digital workplace strategy at Northern Trust Asset Servicing to discuss its thriving citizen developer program and her long-term vision for the program. "I think that's the one thing in the citizen development community, I probably struggle with is the mindset shift. Right? In the past, we had the formal training, we had the communications and newsletters, everything got pushed out to someone, you're required to take training, or you get locked out of your system or something," said Shaelyn. "With these tools. It is all about the individual. And that's what I love, right? So it doesn't matter. It helps diversity, it helps equality. It helps just reskilling, upskilling staff want to shine and get more exposure and visibility, the only thing driving it is their own willingness to learn and dig in and be self starters." Highlights of the conversation include: How the citizen developer program first came into being. Why citizen development requires a change in mindset. How she's built the program using a hub and spoke model. How citizen development feeds upskilling and reskilling efforts. Where employees find value in citizen development, beyond low-code process fixes. Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Kate Cox talk with Shaelyn about generative AI, why citizen development is nothing new and how generational differences help feed the demand for low-code platforms. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at
How does the world's largest professional network help its own employees build connections? In this episode of Get Reworked, we talk to Laurel Dzneladze, employee communications, digital platforms leader at LinkedIn about the community-based approach to employee communications at the company and how it feeds into the broader employee experience.   "Some of our work focus has been on that — how can we make this flexible work, work?" said Laurel. "We're creating a virtual experience for our remote employees. But we're also creating these in-person experiences, or even driving the desire to go to an office by surfacing community-based content that would make somebody go to an office or attend a virtual event." Highlights of the conversation include: Why Laurel and her team focus on amplifying employee and leader voices.   How community building is central to their approach. What channels and tools she uses to get the messages out. How to help people participate in community, whether in person or working remotely. How she measures the success of these efforts. Plus, co-hosts Kate Cox and Siobhan Fagan talk with Laurel about why she's on team 'no newsletter,' how LinkedIn still sees itself as a scrappy start-up, and how to reuse, repurpose and recycle content. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at
Applications of quantum computing in the workplace may still sound like a theoretical future, but the need for workers capable of working with quantum is immediate and real. In this episode of Get Reworked, we talk to Bradley Holt, program director of workforce development at IBM Quantum, about what the company is doing to close the quantum skills gap and why it's focused on getting younger generations interested in quantum computing now. "There are an estimated 27 million classical software developers in the world today," Bradley said. "So that's a very, very different workforce, right, 3,000 people actually applying their skills in the field of quantum compared to say, 27 million classical developers. So we're getting there .... I don't think we need to go and really trained tens of millions of quantum developers overnight. But over the next decade or two, we're likely going to see a really significant increase in demand for quantum developers." Highlights of the conversation include: How to get started exploring quantum in your organization. Whether widespread access to quantum computers is realistic in the near-term. How colleges are responding to the demand for quantum skills.  The different roles preparing for the quantum future. Why policymakers should be part of the learning cohort.  Plus, co-hosts Kate Cox and Siobhan Fagan talk with Bradley about his quantum computing pitch for an 8-year-old, why IBM is partnering with HBCUs on quantum education and quantum scientists' popular pet names. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at
Delivering a digital workplace that works for multiple teams, in multiple locations, all with different end goals is challenging to say the least. But sometimes it comes down to communications and training as much as it does to the tools themselves.   In this special episode of Get Reworked, recorded live at the J.W. Marriot in Austin, Texas during the Reworked CONNECT conference, Dante Ragazzo, senior director, digital workplace at Tapestry discusses the work he's doing to simplify and remove friction from the digital workplace at Tapestry.  "So I think that if you are not only improving your experience, but showing that you're improving your experience, I think it goes a long way toward employees. I think employees are actually really forgiving, and they understand what's different when you're a consumer. 'Well, you want to get my money. So you should do everything you can to impress me.' "When you're the employee, it's like, 'Well, the more money you spend on other niceties to make me feel good is less money that we have to invest in our business, bonuses and everything else.' So I think employees have a certain understanding like they don't want to just see the coffers wide open and spending frivolously," said Dante. Highlights of the conversation include: What causes some of the digital friction The many definitions of the digital workplace How he approaches shadow IT How to balance diverse team needs with the desire to create a cohesive digital workplace The digital workplace discovery tour he now runs at Tapestry  Plus, co-hosts Kate Cox and Siobhan Fagan talk with Dante about the differences between customer experience and employee experience, how we can't live in a magic kingdom, and why sometimes you have to accept that good enough is good enough. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
Generative AI is the latest shiny toy in the workplace technology toolbox. The difference in this case is the bar to use it is very low. Anyone with an internet connection and a computer can access it. In this episode of Get Reworked, employment attorney Peter Rahbar discusses the potential risks of generative AI to the workplace and why organizations need to create guardrails around employee use.  Listen: Get Reworked Full Episode List "I think it's very important in this moment, where we have a potential transformative technology, for the company to really take the lead on how it's introduced and used in the workplace. So I think an effective policy would not only describe what platforms and technologies are being governed here, but what type of information should and shouldn't be used with these platforms," said Peter. Highlights of the conversation include: The risks — and rewards — generative AI creates for employers and employees alike. How generative AI adds to existing employee fears of being replaced. Why companies should create policies on generative AI use now, not later. Why we need a debate on the use of AI in HR. On where we are and where we need to be with AI regulation. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Peter about the importance of transparency around AI use in the workplace, the different effects of internal vs. external use, and whether or not he is indeed Peter Rahbar. Listen in for more.
When we hear the word "erosion" we tend to think of nature: water erosion, soil erosion, wind erosion. But much like the natural elements, daily stressors can wear us humans down too.   In this episode of Get Reworked, Karen Dillon and Rob Cross, co-authors of the book, "The Microstress Effect: How Little Things Pile Up and Create Big Problems — and What to Do about It," discuss how the incremental stresses we absorb every day are impacting our performance at work, our relationships and our lives.   "It just means that none of us are able to be our best selves. And we accept that we don't even think there's an alternative. That's what Rob's talking about with those interviews. The high-performers were successful from the outside perspective, but a lot of them were hanging on by a thread internally, and that cannot be the best performance," said Karen. Highlights of the conversation include: How we're all having our frog in the boiling water moment The three categories of microstresses How our workplace habits are adding to microstress What managers can do to minimize microstress for themselves and their teams What we can all do to reduce the impact of microstresses in our lives. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Rob and Karen about how our networks are part of the solution and how sometimes you just have to rise above. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
What makes a company irresistible? That's the question behind Josh Bersin's most recent book, "Irresistible: The 7 Secrets to the World's Most Enduring, Employee Focused Organizations." And what it comes down to is a focus on their employees. At a time when some companies are rolling back recent improvements to the employee experience, Bersin joins Get Reworked to explain why an investment in employee experience is an investment in the long-term health and success of an organization. "In reality, investors can sell their stock, they're not that committed to the company, they can leave. Customers can leave too, customers will give you all sorts of input, but they can just buy another product. Employees are deeply committed to your company, because they voted with their lives and their families to work for you. And when they have problems and they speak up, you need to listen to them first, not last, and don't sacrifice the employees on behalf of the customers. "And that's what the EX thing is all about. It's creating a real focus on what can we do to take this workforce we have and make it really better for them, for our customers, for our product, for our operations, and so forth." Highlights of the conversation include: What separates employee-centric organizations from others. The qualities that define an irresistible organization. Why constant learning in part defines successful organizations. How leaders need to change from controllers to coaches. Why team-centric work sets thriving companies apart. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Josh about a memorable performance review, why becoming an irresistible organization is challenging for leaders and employees alike, and why the long-term success of a company rests on its ability to unleash human potential. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
Between 10% and 20% of the world's population is considered neurodivergent, according to Deloitte. Yet companies still default to one-size-fits-all approaches to management, which rarely suits anyone. In this episode of Get Reworked, John Abel, technical director, office of the CTO at Google Cloud discusses what businesses can do to support and help neurodiverse employees flourish — from reducing friction via technology, to increasing leader's listening skills, to asking the right questions, to communicating in multiple ways to reach all employees.  "Someone said to me the other day, how do I know if I'm doing diversity well as a leader? And I said, the only way I can tell you is from my personal experience. You should feel exhausted. And what I mean by that is, we all are struggling with obtaining the next generation of talent. And for me, the talent starts much younger, well before career. And actually, you've got to make them excited about your industry or your business, before they're well into the employment process. Because inherently, if you don't, you're going to get one type of employee," said John. Highlights of the conversation include: What being a flexible leader means. How technology advances have improved daily work for many.   How leaders can help employees learn through listening and self discovery. Why simplifying things, not adding complexity, is the trick to getting things done. How employees can help their managers manage them. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with John about how to help everyone use their full skillset, the connection between neurodiversity and creativity, and why fail fast is an inadequate term. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
Although employee experience is a relatively new term, the concept behind it isn't: support your employees to do their best work and they will support your business in turn. In this episode of Get Reworked, World Wide Technology's executive vice president of global human resources, Ann Marr shares lessons learned delivering award-winning employee experiences over her 25-year career with the company. Ann was the recipient of Reworked's 2022 Employee Experience of the Year award. Listen: Get Reworked Full Episode List "I've been such an advocate of parents who work to make sure that there's a balance there. And that pendulum can swing, maybe, you know, if you're working on a really important project, you maybe have to spend a lot more time at the office. But on the same pendulum, maybe you have a sick kid, or maybe you have a kid who's in a sporting event and you want to see them compete in a sporting event, you have to balance that," said Ann. Highlights of the conversation include: What it takes to create a consistent employee experience across 15 locations around the world. How WWT approaches onboarding. Where career development fits in WWT's employee experience. What to do to ensure employees remain engaged. How supporting employees who are caregivers pays off for everyone in the long run. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Ann about how employees can gauge if an employer is a good fit for them, where supplier diversity fits into the company's EX strategy and how she feels on her 25th anniversary at the company. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
Back to office advocates have used corporate culture as an argument for why employees need to return to a central location. But corporate culture isn't defined by a physical place. Ideally, it's a combination of behaviors, practices and processes. In this episode of Get Reworked, Udemy chief learning officer Melissa Daimler discusses what an intentional approach to building culture looks like and why it benefits organizations — and employees — in the long-run.  "So many people that I have talked to throughout my career have said, 'Why are you getting in the way of culture just happening organically?' And my response to that is, it is happening already, whether by design or default, so we might as well design it, and be more explicit about things that we want to see and things that we don't want to have be part of our culture," said Melissa. Highlights of the conversation include: How to define culture. The strong relationship between learning and development and culture. Why businesses need to reassess culture on an ongoing basis. What it takes to turn a toxic culture around. How to make culture work in the hybrid workplace. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Melissa about Twitter now vs. Twitter 10 years ago, what employees can do to help shape culture and why vibes alone aren't enough to create a corporate culture. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
At a time when the number of available workplace tools is exploding, how can a company meet employee demands for technology while not overwhelming them with choice? In this episode of Get Reworked, Tope Sadiku, global head of digital employee experience at The Kraft Heinz Company discusses how she takes a human-centric approach to delivering personalized digital experiences to the multinational food company's employees.  "Really, for me, it's less of a tools focus .... I don't want to have a conversation really, when I'm trying to scope something out, about tools and capabilities so specifically, where someone's saying, 'OK, I like the visual of this. I'm used to this, I've used this in a previous team, a previous company.' It's less about that. It's more about, what are we actually trying to achieve? And then we can say, OK, what's the best way to achieve that goal?" said Tope. Highlights of the conversation include: What a delightful digital employee experience looks like. Striking the balance between offering employees technology options and decision fatigue.  How Kraft Heinz ties ESG into the digital employee experience. How regular tool audits fit into tool acquisition discussions. How Tope moved from a career in finance to leading digital employee experience. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Tope about how to reduce friction in workplace technology, how pizza toppings relate to digital personalization and whether hot dog flavored popsicles are a good or bad idea. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
How can a company communicate with employees who are distributed across multiple locations, roles and time zones? More importantly, how can companies ensure these communications are two-way and not a top down broadcast? In this episode of Get Reworked, Maren Waggoner, VP of People, End-to-End Operations, U.S. at Walmart gives us an inside look at how the company communicates with — and hears from — the 1.2 million associates working in U.S. operations.  "Part of listening isn't just what might not be working, we definitely want to have an eye to that and an ear to it. But also, we want to have an ear to what are the great ideas that our associates are seeing every day in their day-to-day work. And we have an application, or a kind of a channel, that we've established called me@ideas at Walmart. And so any associate at any time can go into this channel and submit an idea of maybe something we should consider doing or a better way of doing things," said Maren. Highlights of the conversation include: What the company means by tech-enabled, people-led. How employee listening scales from the local to the corporate level. How Walmart uses tools like natural language processing to establish employee sentiment. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Maren about creating feedback loops for employee suggestions, how the company balances technology and in-person channels for communications and where she plans to focus her efforts in the year ahead. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to Please note: The conversation was recorded before the mass shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Va. in November, so the events of that day do not come up in the discussion.
Our workplaces hit a milestone in recent years: it was the first time on record that five generations shared the workplace. While there's been no shortage of articles on the needs and desires of individual generations, not much has been paid to the benefits the mix of generations produces — both for individuals and organizations.  In this episode of Get Reworked, Ramsey Alwin, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging, shares how age diversity in the workplace benefits everyone and what we lose when ageism goes unchecked.  Highlights of the conversation include: The benefits of having multiple generations in the workplace.  What we can learn from New Zealand and Iceland about building age-inclusive workforces. How HR leaders can best promote age diversity in hiring and retention. The outsized impact layoffs has on older workers. How we should rethink careers as longevity increases. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Ramsey about the differences in advocating for change at the government level rather than the organizational level, what retirement means if we live till 150 and AARP marketing practices. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
Diversity efforts typically fall under HR's remit, and for good reason. But talking about people and culture will only take a company so far. To move the needle on DEI efforts, organizations need to follow the money. In this episode of Get Reworked, Eloiza Domingo, Allstate's VP, Chief Inclusive Diversity & Equity Officer, Human Resources explains how the American insurance mainstay incorporates diversity into every facet of the organization. And it all starts with how it spends its money.  Listen: Get Reworked Full Episode List "So I would encourage companies as they think about their diversity efforts, not to just look at the people and culture — that certainly is one thing. But where are you actually putting your money? Where are you investing your money?" said Eloiza. "How are you supporting, again, systemic bias and racism in the United States and kind of helping to reverse that in some way, by the way that you're investing and spending your money." Highlights of the conversation include: How DEI has changed over the last 20 years. How companies can hold themselves accountable to DEI goals. What a "diversity identity" means. How companies can navigate a complicated political landscape. How Allstate uses data to ensure its accountability. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Eloiza about the part employee resource groups play in the company and why Allstate rebranded them. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
What causes burnout? So often, conversations around burnout center on the effect — the burnout itself — rather than the cause. It is only when the conversation focuses on the chronic job stressors at the root of burnout, can organizations begin to tackle the problem.  Because at its root, burnout is an indication of a misalignment between people and their jobs. By identifying where these misalignments occur, organizations can make adjustments which improve employees' relationships with their jobs. In this episode of Get Reworked, Christina Maslach, pioneer of research on workplace burnout, creator of the Maslach Burnout Inventory standard assessment tool and author of "The Burnout Challenge," shares the key factors that influence whether we have positive or negative relationships with our jobs. Christina has studied the relationships people have with their work and what organizations can do to improve those relationships for over four decades. Listen: Get Reworked Full Episode List "If we're going to do anything about why burnout occurs, as opposed to focusing on who is getting it, we need to focus on what's causing it, we need to prevent the impact of those stressors, reduce them, or have them be better managed, so that they don't occur as often all of these kinds of things," said Christina. Highlights of the conversation include: Why burnout and stress aren't synonymous. Why vacations and self-care are only short-term solutions. How burnout is more than an individual issue. The importance of networks and community in alleviating burnout. The six areas where organizations can focus to improve alignment between people and their jobs. Plus, host Siobhan Fagan talks with Christina about hustle culture, the upsides and the downsides of a daily commute and chardonnay burnout. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Send it to
The ongoing debate between return to office or work from home misses the point. The question isn't where we work, but how. Over the last two and a half years white collar workers have taken part in a grand experiment which upended many of the long-held norms of the workday. Business leaders now have the choice of what to do next: embrace this new way of work or try to return to how things were in 2019.    In this kickoff episode to Season 3, Sheela Submramanian, co-founder of Future Forum and VP at Slack, and co-author of "How The Future Works: Leading Flexible Teams to Do the Best Work of Their Lives" shares why leaders need to move past the debate around physical location of work to embrace a much more flexible approach to how work gets done. Listen: Get Reworked Full Episode List "It's really critical for leaders to think about flexibility when it comes to choice in both where and when people work, rather than setting mandates in terms of the number of days they need to come back into the office," Subramanian said. "There's an opportunity for us to shift the conversation from power to trust, because power reflects the command and control model that we had for so long." Highlights of the conversation include: The dangers of confusing presenteeism for performance. The outdated ideas around professionalism we've shed in the last few years (and the ones we still should lose). Why working from home increased a sense of belonging in employees of color.   Why the future of work comes down to two things: flexibility and trust. What leaders' top concern today should be. Plus, we talk with Sheela about why we should all be in touch with our inner two-year-olds, why we need alternate career paths outside of management and where to find the best bagel in Oakland. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at
How do you stay positive in the middle of a tragedy? It's a question that became all too real for our next guest, who found himself at the scene of the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Ill. that left seven people dead and scores wounded. In this episode of Get Reworked, Howard Prager, executive coach and author of "Make Someone's Day" shares how times of trouble are exactly when we need to focus on the needs of others and tells us what exactly we can do at work to make each others' lives better. Listen: Get Reworked Full Episode List "Negativity just breeds more negativity both within us and with others," Howard said. "I believe that when we can make others feel better, I know that we too feel better because of our mirror neurons creating what I call the boomerang effect." Highlights of the conversation include: How to stay upbeat amidst tragedy and bad news. Why we need more kindness in the workplace. How to practice gratitude and recognition at work. How leaders can make time to make others' days. The role of recognition in hybrid and remote work. Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Howard about bringing your whole self to work, if nice people do indeed finish last and why the tuba is the most underrated musical instrument. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at
The word friction typically carries negative connotations, seen as an abrasive or discordant force. Yet the right kind of friction can also inspire feelings of belonging, engagement and meaning. In this episode of Get Reworked, we talk to Soon Yu, author and international speaker, about how introducing good friction in your workplace can inspire employees to do more, give them a greater sense of purpose and inspire them to experiment. Listen: Get Reworked Full Episode List "Good friction in the work environment is actually asking more of your employees. And part of what you're asking more of them is to co-create the culture, to have ownership and the ability to influence what happens," said Soon. "And it's not just a top-down situation where the senior leader has a vision and states the values and everybody just follows that, you're actually asking for this idea of feedback, loop engagement and collaboration at all different levels." Highlights of the conversation include: The difference between good and bad friction. Why asking employees for more effort can build a sense of ownership. Why employees should identify if their workplaces support autonomy, mastery and purpose.  How hybrid workforces can introduce good friction. Why thriving brands introduce good friction to promote loyalty, belonging and more. Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Soon about boxed cake mixes, the seven virtues of good friction, and why Soon thinks working retail is harder than any white-collar job. Listen in for more. Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at
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