Stories by Melissa Solomon

Discovering the leader within

During her 20-year rise through the IT ranks, Atefeh Riazi had always credited much of her success to what she considered her greatest strength: her diplomacy.

Stress survival strategies

Sitting in front of a computer, tackling tight deadlines and working odd hours take their toll on IT professionals under normal circumstances. But lately, many workers have watched their company's financial health plummet, their colleagues get laid off, their perks get slashed and their stock options disappear. All the while, they're picking up the slack for their shrinking departments and worrying if they'll be the next to go.

Watching workers

In his off-Broadway show, 21 Dog Years: Doing Time @, Mike Daisey recalls his bizarre days as a call centre representative at the Seattle-based online retailer.

Miss Manners meets MIS

There was a time when women wore ties. Not anymore. That stays in the '80s. The style-savvy instructor uses her pointer to illustrate various fashion faux pas. "Never, ever wear white socks with black shoes," she states emphatically.

Fighting for Middle Ground

Meet with vendors. Review assignments for the year. Submit service estimate to customer. Valorie Hartridge, director of marketing systems at Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International Inc., proudly points out that she crossed that last item off her to-do list just the other day. "I like scratching things off," she says.

Layoff Lessons Learned

With the current wave of IT job cutbacks, those who have survived previous recessions have some valuable insights.

Women face ‘slow climb’

When Liz Ryan left her job as vice president of human resources at US Robotics, she needed to expand her contact list fast.