Posted in Tips From Other Humans

A new entrepreneur at 66

Paul Tasner is my new hero. After getting fired, he decided to build his own business, “designing and manufacturing biodegradable packaging from waste”. He was 66 at the time. It’s easy to imagine how intimidating it must have been – learning how to start a business after working for companies for over 40 years; competing for funding with tech whiz kids (Paul says he has pairs of shoes older than some of them).

Paul’s business is doing well, and he is doing the most meaningful work of his life. Paul wants to encourage more seniors to become first-time entrepreneurs. He points out that the lists of successful entrepreneurs and startups are almost always: “30 Under 30”. He’d like to see more lists for “70 over 70”. Love it.

Paul’s story really made me think: maybe we really don’t need to put so much pressure on ourselves to follow our dreams, get out of the corporate world, and start our own businesses in our 20s, 30s, or 40s “before it’s too late”. Clearly 66 isn’t too late. Like wine and cheese and Pokemon, many of us will keep getting better with age.

An inspiring TED Talk (in under seven minutes) from an amazing guy.


Posted in Tips From Other Humans, Work Tips BookClub

An Instruction Book For Life

Way back in 1991, H. Jackson Brown, Jr wrote a small book of life advice that became very popular. I don’t know who he was, or what the ‘H’ stands for, but he apparently wrote the list of guidelines for his son who was heading off to college. And then it became a global bestseller, so that’s surely a win-win.


Around that time, I think I was in a phase where I loved motivational things – I remember having a pinboard in my room with inspiring quotes stuck on it, and a weird Nike poster, and even a fortune cookie message: You would make a good lawyer, for no detail escapes your attention. (As an aside, I feel that fortune cookie advice would be just as good as the advice given by many high school careers / guidance counsellors – must look into this as a business idea…)

Anyway, I found the book on my shelf during a spring cleaning campaign, and thought I’d save you the trouble of reading the whole thing by sharing some highlights from the (slightly yellowed) pages here today.

And so it begins.
Still relevant after all these years. Especially #53 right now, Australia.

And some of the advice is bizarrely specific, and a little judge-y. Like #85: Never encourage anyone to become a lawyer. That’s a bit harsh, H.


The instructions certainly cover a lot of ground, from the philosophical to the mundane. From marshmallows in hot chocolate to learning CPR.


So 1991. As if these will still be relevant in 2017. [Cough, cough]
And another very precise instruction is #396. I don’t really like fruitcake, so it works for me as a tip for both work and life.


Like all good things, the stream of advice must come to an end. Strangely enough, it ends on instruction #477, and is then followed by five completely blank pages to complete the book. Maybe it’s meant to be a cliffhanger, as there was at least one if not two sequels to this one (yes, I think I have them).


And with that, I am off to call my mother.

Tips From Other Humans

Most people are now familiar with Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton‘s brilliant series of portraits snapped around NYC (and around the world), which became such a successful photoblog that his reach expanded to books and now film.

If you haven’t yet seen the new Humans of New York interview series, it’s worth checking out on Facebook. There are some amazing stories there, grouped by themes, from a range of very interesting humans.

Here’s one of the trailers to give you a taste – it seems like a perfect thing to watch for Friday feels, heading into a weekend (and it’s a looong weekend and a time change for some of us here in Australia, woohoo). And two of my favourites from Instagram.

And if you’re not on Facebook, you can still check out some of the HONY stories here.

Posted in Tips From Other Humans


It begins, as good things so often do, with a message in a fortune cookie. Eerily specific, I thought it best to follow the guidance. Otherwise, it could end badly – like that one time when I didn’t forward a chain email to the correct number of people within three hours, and our pet cat died seven months later. I don’t have a cat anymore, but I don’t want to take another chance on fate, so here it is: a blog called Work Tips For Humans.

fortune cookie

The plan is to share stories, suggestions and snaps from the working world. Whatever you do, and wherever you do it, there are always workplace happenings that are so ridiculous/frightening/hilarious/exciting that they need to be shared. We’re not your Grandma’s HR department (mostly because it’s unlikely that your Grandma actually had an HR department) – no buzzwords, no jargon, no one on a “journey”, and no compulsory compliance training. We’re simply trying to find the lighter side of work and share that with other humans.

The Tips on this blog will be steered by an HR insider, a bean counter (not literally, he’s an accountant), and an arm-waving marketeer. But we’re so much more than that – we’re your window into the world of work, and we’re here to help. We’ll even try to answer your queries – please note that any such guidance is not even close to legally binding and will undoubtedly have a significant chance of backfiring. Desperate enough to still be interested? You can email us via the Contact page.

Welcome to Work Tips For Humans.

[And if you want to create your own fortune cookie message to share with / freak out your colleagues, check out this Fortune Cookie Message Generator. I’ve bookmarked the site and am already plotting how best to use it… Something simple, like, You’re fired! Or something a bit more thought provoking, like, The printer doesn’t re-fill its own paper, Jason. Endless opportunities…]