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  ABC's 20-20 called Cisco CEO John Chambers, "America's best boss."  An advisor to presidents Clinton, Bush, France's Macron, Israel's Shimon Peres, and Jordan's King Abdullah, TIME named him one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World."

On the Oct. 4, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I interview him about his new book, Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World.  We will focus on advice relevant to a wide range of people, not just leaders. We'll discuss management. resilience, hiring, future trends, and how all workers need respond to a more automated world.

Is it worth trying microdoses of LSD or mushrooms to enhance one's work efforts? On the Sep. 27, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I explore the extent of what we know and don't know with Johns Hopkins professor Matthew Johnson and Third Wave's Paul Austin.

Courtesty of Eastside Arts Alliance

Twenty years ago, black people made up 35 percent of the city’s population. Since then, there’s been an exodus of black residents from Oakland. Today the black population is just under 25 percent. And the numbers continue to decline.

Photo by SEIU Local 1

  On this edition of Your Call, we’ll discuss how low-wage women workers are advancing protections from sexual assault.

  Many listeners have called into Work with Marty Nemko asking for advice on how to make a living as an activist. Well, on the Sep. 20, 2018 edition of the show, I'll talk with someone who does it: Lauren Navarro of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Liza Veale / KALW News

Many advocates say the Bay Area needs to build a lot more housing to solve its affordability crisis. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and the high cost of labor is often cited as one of the obstacles. But construction trades workers also need to live in this expensive area and they say wages, though higher than elsewhere, still barely cut it.

Amber Miles / KALW News

SF’s housing crisis is complicated. Yes, there’s a shortage of housing, but also a shortage of skilled workers. CityBuild has a mission; train local San Franciscans to fill those lucrative and much needed positions.

  Many listeners to Work with Marty Nemko say that their favorite segments are those in which my wife, Barbara Nemko and I debate work-related topics. To help ensure that both sides of an issue get fair treatment, we switch sides in the middle of the debate, so the listeners can hear each of us make the best arguments we can for both sides.  On the Sep. 13, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, in recognition of this being KALW's fall membership drive, we're doing a special edition: taking a fresh shot at the three debate topics that listeners have most often said they appreciated: How important appearance is and should be in the workplace? Is it worth holding out for doing what you love as your career? And is the future of work in our ever more automated world bright or bleak? 

Last Labor Day at the Lusty Lady

Sep 5, 2018

When the Lusty Lady peep show in North Beach closed on Labor Day weekend in 2013, it was the only unionized, worker-owned sex club in the United States. To mark the five-year anniversary of the Lusty Lady’s closing, we revisit its closing days with Princess Pandora Noir, the Lusty’s former CEO, and some of the Lusty’s last customers.

Philosophy Talk: A World Without Work

Aug 31, 2018

Can we still lead productive, meaningful lives if the demand for human labor disappears?


  Many people would like a career in the outdoors but most of those require living outside the Bay Area, for example, in agriculture or forestry. One exception is to be an arborist, a person who plants and trims trees, sometimes very tall trees. What’s it really like to be an arborist?  On the Aug 30, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I talk with Scott Wheeler of Urban Arborists, someone for whom money does indeed grow on trees, although it certainly has its ups and downs. (Groan).

Is Amazon too big for the common good?

Aug 28, 2018
Photo by Robert Scoble used under CC / flickr

On this edition of Your Call: What should be done about Amazon’s growing market control and political clout?

  On the Aug. 23, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I offer ideas on how to boost your chances of getting promoted, even if you've been passed over previously.

  On the Aug. 16, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I talk with Sarah Kessler, author of Gigged: The End of the Job and The Future of Work. We'll talk about what individuals, employers, and government can do.

  On the Aug. 9, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, Barbara and Marty Nemko discuss ghosting at work: employers not responding to job applicants, co-workers and bosses going silent after promising something, etc.

On the Aug 2, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko: From the sundial to the hourglass to the Rolex, Timex to the Atomic Watch to the Apple Watch, we've been keeping track of time. And in today's ever more pressured lives, we seem ever more preoccupied with time. My guest makes a living helping people tell time. He's Paul Seregin who repairs, buys, and sells fine watches in San Francisco.

Many people look to be self-employed at something local, organic, sustainable, and not requiring a large investment. Well, one such enterprise is beekeeping, selling honey for fun and profit. What’s it really like to be a beekeper? My guest, Andre Kruglikov, runs Twin Bee Apiaries in Alameda.

Lisa Morehouse / KALW News

The West Side of San Bernardino is one of those neighborhoods where people still live in the houses their Mexican-American great-grandparents bought in the 1930s. Today, on the once-thriving commercial strip, there are plenty of vacant lots and storefronts, but one business is still a magnet for customers: the Mitla Cafe. It’s proof that sometimes a restaurant is more than just a restaurant. Since the ‘30s, the restaurant has born witness to and played a role in political change. It also happens to be an unlikely inspiration for how mainstream America sees — and eats — Mexican food.

On the July 19, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, an encore Best of Marty Nemko program: 11 pieces of contrarian yet effective career advice.

NOAA library


The US has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. In response, a number of countries, including Mexico, Canada, and China, have imposed taxes on more than $24 billion of US exports. What do you want to know about the Trump administration’s trade war?

Flikr user Rusty Blazenhoff used underUNDER CC BY-NC 2.0 / CROPPED AND RESIZED

When recreational cannabis was legalized in California just over six months ago, the people championing legal weed had high hopes. Growers could emerge out of the shadows into the light. People arrested during the War on Drugs could become CEOs of cannabis empires. Millions of dollars worth of tax revenue would ooze out of marijuana plants right into the government’s pockets. But cannabis trade groups also warned regulations would push some people out.

On the July 12, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko:  Many would-be lawyers would like to avoid the contentiousness in, for example, corporate law. A new law specialty is assisted reproductive law, in which an attorney helps people who'd like to have children but need to use sperm or egg donation, or surrogate mothers. This gives rise to an interesting legal profession and ethical issues. I'll explore with attorney Richard Vaughn, head of the American Bar Association's section on Assisted Reproductive Law.

Photo by Ann Fox


Journalist Alissa Quart has a message for the struggling middle class: You’re not alone and it’s not your fault. In her new book, Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America, she tells the story of the predicament facing the middle class – people who’ve “done everything right,” but can’t get ahead.


On today’s edition of Your Call, listen to our conversation with labor organizer and writer Jane McAlevey.

On the July 5, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I talk with recently retired former Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Alex Kozinski.

Work with Marty Nemko is heard every Thursday from 7 to 8 PM on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and worldwide on

The programs are archived on, iTunes, and in perpetuity on

On the June 28, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, Barbara and Marty Nemko debate the pros and cons of 15 under-the-radar careers.

On the June 21, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I deconstructed common work proverbs, suggesting that some should be dumped in the landfill while others deserve having stood the test of centuries.

On the June 21, 2018 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I deconstruct common work-related proverbs and invite listeners to weigh in to defend the poem or agree with my criticism.


On this edition of Your Call, we speak with a member of the Patriotic Millionaires about their battle against the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few.