Monthly Archives: September 2021

Is the Future of Work Funny?

A stand-up comedian and workplace culture expert answers the burning question: Is the future of work funny?

David Horning is the principal of Water Cooler Comedy. He works closely with organizations to inject humor into the workplace, to help them build strong, positive, and enduring cultures.

As a young child, David discovered that he could make family, friends, and teachers laugh. Later on, he found inspiration listening to Monty Python, George Carlin, Jim Gaffigan and others to do his own stand-up comedy sets.

In describing his process for improving workplace culture, David offers this insight:

“Humor makes problems [in the workplace] seem smaller. If we can laugh about it then we can do something about it.”

Full interview starts at 3:14

In an episode that covers a lot of ground, David:

  • Describes Water Cooler Comedy and his mission to improve workplace cultures. Starts at 4:14
  • Digs into his funny origin story and comedic influences. Starts at 5:50
  • Explains how comedy and humor can improve the workplace experience of professional talent. Starts at 7:58
  • Provides insight into how expressing humor can improve the talent recruitment process. Starts at 15:15
  • Offers his thoughts on how humor in the workplace can be expressed in ways that don’t hurt people. Starts at 24:49
  • Discusses the comedians who influence his stand-up comedy. Starts at 33:38
  • Answers the burning question: is the future of work funny? Starts at 36:14

Is the future of work funny? We’ll offer this: David Horning believes that comedy and humor can bring people together in the workplace. That way, they thrive and the organization succeeds.

About our guest:

David Horning earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from the University of Akron. He lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio.

EPISODE DATE: September 24, 2021

Social media:




Pivot From College to Career

Dan Smolen interviews Andrea Koppel, who is helping people pivot from college to career.

Andrea is a former CNN correspondent, PR and nonprofit sector corporate executive. She draws on those amazing professional experiences to empower 1 million students to turn their degrees into careers they will love.

Each week, she hosts and executive produces the Time4Coffee Podcast which features the stories and unique experiences of top career professionals. Her guests have all pivoted from college to great and rewarding career experiences.

Additionally, Andrea leads the College2Career Academy which offers clients one-on-one consultative support to pursue their own beautiful career journeys.

Here, she discusses her process to help people pivot from college to career:

“One of the biggest challenges that I help my [young students] with, those that are confused and anxious and stuck, is that I help them to get unstuck.”

In this podcast episode, Andrea:

  • Describes the unique value propositions of the Time4Coffee Podcast and the College2Career Academy. Starts at 4:54
  • Relives her own amazing career journey. Starts at 9:08
  • Relates to the power of personal experience in shaping the college to career journey. Starts at 15:30
  • Discusses the return-on-investment (ROI) mindset of many college degree candidates, and ways to get them beyond it, to a state of joyfulness. Starts at 28:33
  • Counters the unhealthful “live for work” success narrative pursued by many American professionals. Starts at 37:05

In helping people pivot from college to career, Andrea Koppel frees them to seek and do meaningful work that may span several career acts.

About our guest:

Andrea Koppel earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, Asian Studies, and Chinese from Middlebury College. Andrea was for 20 years an award-winning journalist; she served as a foreign-based, State Department, and Capitol Hill correspondent for CNN. After her journalism career concluded, she worked two years in PR and later seven years as an executive in the nonprofit sector. Andrea lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area.

EPISODE DATE: September 17, 2021

Social media:




Time4Coffee Podcast

College2Career (Coaching)

Get Unstuck for the Future of Work

Dan Smolen meets a tech career strategist who helps people get unstuck for the future of work.

Raj Subrameyer arrived in the US for graduate study. He was an introverted South Indian student who pursued the lofty career goals that others expected him to follow.

Raj says he applied for over 1,200 jobs and got but a handful of interviews. That’s when he decided to focus on his own happiness; he began a process of discovery which got him unstuck to start his own business.

Now, through his brand ChaiLatte Consulting, Raj helps tech careerists get unstuck for the future of work.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Raj:

  • Provides the unique value proposition of ChaiLatte Consulting, his own name-change, and the importance of having an “immigrant mindset.” Starts at 4:28
  • Recalls how he tapped his “inner extrovert” to help careerists. Starts at 8:20
  • Pushes against the [Southern Indian] cultural tenet of not questioning things. Starts at 13:13
  • Delves into the WHY of personal (career) branding. Starts at 26:15
  • Describes how immigrants to the US can overcome their disadvantages. Starts at 31:11
  • Offers his take on future of work opportunities. Starts at 38:49

Raj also describes his motivation to help others achieve career success:

“I wanted to help underdogs like me, who had the skill-sets, but were looking for guidance.”

With great cheer, Raj Subrameyer helps careerists get unstuck for the future of work.

About our guest:

Raj Subrameyer earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Anna University and a Masters of Science in Software Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Raj is the author of the book, Skyrocket Your Career. He lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

EPISODE DATE: September 10, 2021

Social media:




TEDx Talk (NEW!)


The Pandemic and the Workplace

Dan Smolen meets with Rob Citronberg MD to discuss the pandemic and the workplace.

Dr. Citronberg is Advocate Aurora Health Care’s Executive Director of Infectious Disease and Prevention.

What is more, he leads his healthcare system’s Covid-19 response and addresses the needs of hospitalized Covid patients. Beyond his hospital responsibilities, Dr. Citronberg also counsels members of the business community on their return to the workplace.

In this podcast episode, Dr. Citronberg:

  • Explains the scope of his work. Starts at 4:20
  • Describes how the Delta Variant differs from the novel (original) Covid-19 virus. Starts at 6:04
  • Offers key insight derived from Israeli Covid research and the likelihood of a Covid booster shot. Starts at 10:01
  • Explains the push for vaccine mandates. Starts at 14:03
  • Addresses changes in workplace density to keep people safe. Starts at 18:02
  • Answers the question: “will vaccinated workers need to be boosted annually?” Starts at 24:06

Of business leaders’ insistence on vaccine mandates for their hired talent, Dr. Citronberg says:

“[They want] to create a safe environment where–if you’re coming into the office–you want to feel safe, that you are around people that are not going to make you sick.”

Going forward, how we relate to the pandemic and the workplace will impact the future of work.

About our guest:

Rob Citronberg MD earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. Citronberg appears regularly on Chicago Channel 7’s morning newscast to discuss Covid-19. He lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

EPISODE DATE: September 3, 2021

Social media:

ABC7 Chicago


Facebook Live