Be Eager to Stay and Ready to Go

I was discussing this topic with a friend recently and thought I would share it with you!  Although the post is from 2010 the suggestions and information is still very relevant for most of us. 

Be Eager to Stay and Ready to Go

When it comes to career management, two things continue to amaze me:

1. People that don’t proactively manage their careers until they are looking for a job;

2. Managers who hold it against employees that are proactively managing their careers.

How could this be? It’s 2010, not 1970. However, I can’t tell you how many people I run into that don’t have an updated resume. Heck, a lot of them don’t even have a resume. Those are the same ones who I’ll get LinkedIn invites from after they’ve lost their jobs. I’m sure they learned how to set up their account at the outplacement workshop they just attended. My reaction is usually “nice to finally hear from you… so where have you been all these years?”

I’m not trying to be mean here – I’m just trying to help by opening up some eyes.

There are a lot of people that are very happy with their jobs. They might be long-time employees. They either don’t see the need, or see it the same way some managers do – that it would be disloyal or slimy to even be thinking about another job or employer. They think it’s like cheating on your spouse.

Look, being loyal and faithful is important in a committed relationship, i.e., a marriage. An employer is not your spouse. There’s no “in sickness or in health, for better or for worse” vow taken. It’s a job, and they will continue to employ you for as long as you can perform and they need you.

If I sound harsh, maybe it’s because I spent eight years at a large company where layoffs were a regular occurrence. Every year, usually around the year end holidays, I’d see good, solid, longtime loyal co-workers being walked out the door. Off they went to company sponsored outplacement workshops to learn how to write resumes.

Even if you work for the nicest boss in the world, in a company that’s never had a layoff – a truly great company – that same company could be acquired, and before you know it, you’re redundant. A competitor could invent some disruptive technology that turns your product into a buggy whip overnight.

As for the Neanderthal managers that brand their employees with a scarlet letter if they want to apply for even an internal job posting – stop being such selfish jerks! As a leader, you should be encouraging your employees to manage their careers and stay marketable. For every employee you may lose to a better opportunity, you’re going to have six more knocking at your door because you’re known as a great leader and company to work for. In fact, leaders (and companies) should feel morally obligated to help their employees prepare for new opportunities while they are working, not just after the axe falls. That was supposed to be the replacement for a promise of lifelong employment. For many, it’s been a broken promise.

With all of that being said (wow, what a buzz kill), here are 10 career management strategies for those that are currently employed and satisfied with their jobs. Managers should embrace every one of these strategies as well.

1. Update your resume once a year.
Use your annual performance review as a reminder. As you are documenting your accomplishments for the year (um…, you do document your accomplishments, right?), see if there are any that are “resume-worthy” (you should strive for at least one per year).

2. Create a LinkedIn profile and keep it current.
While I think some people go a little overboard on LinkedIn (I really don’t need to hear from you every time you get on a plane or read a book), you should at least have an up-to-date profile and professional picture.

3. Build your network.
Networks need to be constantly added to and maintained. Everybody you meet is a potential valuable contact. Make it a habit to offer to “Link up”. Go out of your way to help others in your network. Networking isn’t just about looking for people that can help you – it’s about helping others. You never know – that same person you assist could be the person who makes that all important connection for you when you need it.

4. Keep up to date on career management strategies and tools.
There’s a ton of good stuff out there. SmartBrief on Your Career, Brazen Careerist, Anita Bruzzese’s 45 Things, Lindsey Pollak’s blog, the WSJ’s Careers site, and HRPeople are some of my favorites.

5. Build marketable skills.
Every job and every project is an opportunity to learn. A good rule of thumb would be for 20% of your job to be new and different each year. Work with your manager to develop an individual development plan (IDP) that provides you opportunities to stretch and grow.

6. Know what’s marketable.
See #5. Not all new skills are marketable. Subscribe to job alerts in your field and read the position requirements. Be building the skills on your current job that employers are looking for.

7. Be nice to recruiters.
Return their calls, help them if you can (see #3), and offer to send them your resume (see #1). Talk to them as if you are interviewing for a position – make a good impression. See #3 – offer to connect via LinkedIn.

8. Be a speaker at conferences in your profession.
Treat every external presentation as an audition. The same goes for your behavior as a conference attendee. True story: I actually met two future employers at the same networking event. Weird.

9. Build your personal brand.
It used to be the only way you could get known outside your company was to speak at a conference or get published. Now, with blogs, Twitter, Facebook and online communities, everyone has the opportunity to have thousands of people get to know them. Just be careful – exposure can hurt you as much as it can help you.

10. Manage your finances wisely.
They say it takes 3-6 months to find a job, maybe longer. Make sure you have a nest egg built up to weather the storm, no matter how secure your job is. And don’t put all those eggs in the same basket – your own company stock. Diversify.

Let’s face it, when something happens, only the big dogs get the “golden parachutes”. The rest of us need to proactively manage our careers.

What else would you add to the list?

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Create an Outline for your Dissertation

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DISSERTATION111111

A lot of students neglect to create an outline when starting a project, although it is one of the most important things to do before starting on the writing part of the research paper.

Below a few tips are given by this dissertation writing service, which are invaluable for creating an effective research paper outline.

Annotations: Once all the research material related to the dissertation topic has been gathered, the next step is to annotate it. A student should take small cards or post it notes and fill them with relevant related information; this can help him highlight the main points of the research paper. A student can mark certain pages of magazines, newspapers and journals with bookmarks so that he can find important data easily later on or he could simply copy the relevant portion on textbooks. As a student takes down any necessary information he should also…

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Strength

By: Cristian Mihai

strength“You never know how strong you are… until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Cayla Mills

I’m going to tell you something no motivational speaker would ever dare tell you: genuine strength can’t be taught, learned, bought, borrowed, or understood. Genuine strength, defined as the ambition, courage, and stamina to do whatever you want to do most in this world comes from the realization that you are the only one who’s going to pay the price for success.

That is it.

You really don’t need someone to keep you motivated, someone to keep an eye on you so you don’t become lazy. There’s no point in doing something if you can’t do it by yourself, for yourself, because you can and want to.

I enjoy watching those motivational videos on Youtube, or reading about this or that person who reached a breaking point in their life. I like to read about struggles that makes us human. But it never really helped me achieve anything.

The truth is, you have to do this by yourself. The moment you can’t find any more excuses, the moment you can’t blame anyone else for your mistakes, that’s when you can either give up or try again. You can run and hide, or simply try to take over the world.

It’s really simple.

I write because that’s what I like doing, because that’s my way of leaving some sort of mark on this world, and because I feel I’m somewhat good at it. I also write because I’ve been doing it for over ten years now, and I don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted that much time on something that wasn’t worth it.

You can only climb to the top if you climb alone. The sooner you realize this, the better. Yes, some folks are going to help you on your way up or try to take you down. That’s inevitable. But you have to keep telling yourself that if you want it, you can have it, as long as you try harder and harder each time you fail.

We’re like Sisyphus and his boulder. That’s probably the best way to look at life: repetitive to the brink of madness, always one inch away from Heaven, always one second too late or too early.

Most people expect things to happen. That’s a mistake. Things rarely “just happen.” You have to make things happen.

Sadly, the only way you get to realize this is on your own terms. It might take a while, and even if you read these words and think I’m right, it’s still going to take you some time (or maybe forever) to realize what it’s really all about.

Because, you see, when you feel tired, that’s when you give up on doing whatever it is you like doing. You don’t want to fight the pain, the boredom, the routine. You’re not willing to give up sleep or food or a comfortable life to become who you’ve always thought you were meant to be.

The most I spent writing was 72 hours straight. And it wasn’t because of a deadline, but because I wanted to write something that I never even sold in any way. I didn’t make money of it, I didn’t share it with the world. I just wrote it, but it made me a better writer.

The only difference between people is related to how much they really want something, how much they’re willing to fight for what they want. Make no mistake, because everyone on this Planet wants something. Wishes for something. How we fight, how far we’re willing to go, how much of our comfort we can sacrifice in order to to get what we want most, that’s what separates us as human beings.

What’s Your Writing Routine?

What’s your writing routine?

songoftheseagod

Do you have a routine for writing? A way of doing it which has become habit and which you know will get the best out of you? I was thinking about this having read a recent article on the subject.

Many famous writers seem to have these habits. I think the reason is that, to write a novel you need to get your backside on the chair and your fingers on the keyboard – regularly and for long periods of time, just to get the work done. I know only too well that novels don’t write themselves.

Murakami_Haruki_(2009)Here’s what the brilliant Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami had to say on the subject in an interview:

“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do…

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A Plethora of Passwords: How to create strong passwords, and why you should care.

There are a number of irritating things experts insist you must do for your own good: eat nine servings of veggies a day; maintain a diverse retirement portfolio; check your transmission fluid every month. Most of us ignore a lot of this advice, because there’s no end to it, and our lives are complicated enough.

Photo by Kit

As a habitual good advice ignorer myself, I realize that when I tell you I’m here today to talk about passwords, you’ll want to tune me out. But wait! Good password hygiene is more important than flipping your mattress.

 

Think of your passwords as keys to your online house. You wouldn’t have the same key unlock your house, your office, your car, and your safety deposit box, would you? So why would you use the same password for your blog, PayPal, your bank’s website, your email, and any number of other sites and online services?

Yet many people do. And just as you wouldn’t lock up your house with a sailor’s knot, why would you lock up your blog with your easily guessed pet’s name?

Password Dos and Don’ts:

  • DO use strong, long passwords.
  • DO use a different password for each account.
  • DO invest in a password manager.
  • DON’T write your passwords down, email them, or share them with anyone.
  • DON’T forget to log out on shared computers.
  • DO enable two-step authentication where available.

It’s extremely important to protect yourself online. Were a hacker to crack your WordPress.com password, they could permanently delete everything on your blog before you even knew they were in it, and as devastating as that would be, it’s nothing compared to the pain of identity fraud.

Not to alarm you — at WordPress.com, we monitor potentially harmful activity to ensure there is no unauthorized access to your content, and we take security very seriously. Even so, it’s important that you protect yourself as well. Here’s how:

Create strong passwords

When I say strong, I don’t just mean difficult for a person to guess. (I’d hope that all of you know better than to use one of these 25 most-used passwords.) Hackers use computer programs to break passwords, so even if your selected password is bizarre or random, that doesn’t mean it’s strong enough.

Many login forms prompt you to create a password of random letters, numbers, and symbols. But such a password (for example,  jal43#Koo%a) is actually very easy for a computer to break. The latest and most effective types of password attacks can attempt up to 350 billion guesses per second, and hackers are continually improving their efforts.

Instead, try using four or more random words in a long string, or passphrase, as described in this comic from xkcd.com:

xkcd

Use unique passwords and a password manager

Now that you have your strong passphrase, don’t turn around and use the same one for all of your sites. You should use a unique password for every, single site that you log into online.

Naturally, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to remember all of those different passwords, though. And you should never store your passwords in a text document on your hard drive, or write them down on a piece of paper, as these methods are kind of like putting all of your money into a shoebox and locking it in the trunk of your car.

Instead, use a password manager, such as LastPass1Password, or one of the additional password managers we suggest here. With a password manager, you need only remember one single strong master password. That password will unlock the password manager, which will integrate with your browser to unlock all of your online services without your having to remember any of them.

Not all are free, and it might be an afternoon’s time investment to put all your passwords into the password manager (not to mention change your existing weak passwords to stronger ones), but it’s time and money very well-spent.

Other tips

Additionally, if you ever use a shared computer, be sure to explicitly log out of all of your accounts before leaving it. Browsers sometimes remain logged into websites for convenience, and you don’t want your account to be accessible to the next person who comes along.

Warning! Never, ever email your password to anyone, even support staff of the online service you’re attempting to use. If anyone ever asks you to provide them with a password over email, you should be very suspicious and should probably refuse.

And finally, many services (including WordPress.com) are now providing two-step authentication, which sends a code to your mobile phone when you log in. This is very secure, because a remote hacker will not have access to your mobile device and so even if your password is cracked, two-step ensures that your account stays safe.

I hope that I’ve convinced you to start taking steps to improve your online security. It’s a hassle, sure, but as with most annoying good advice, it becomes easier to follow the more you make a habit of it. Now, go eat some broccoli!

 

I read this information and had to share it!  Several years ago my identity was stolen.  The person(s) responsible did major financial damage, which fortunately my credit card companies & banking institutions absorbed completely, and got two warrants in my name, one of which was in Texas!  The DMV was not cooperative at all & things were so out of control that I couldn’t even write a check to pay for groceries!  Although It took me a very looong time to resolve all of the fraudulent activity and regain my identity, I stayed faithful to God & He gave me the strength to endure & recover!  He has also gifted me the intelligence to be more aware so that I don’t ever have to experience anything like it again!  I don’t wish experience on anyone & hope none of you ever have to experience it either!

FELICIA’S PKM SYSTEM – ‘THE REMIX’

Check out my new and improved PKM system at the link below:

EDD-703 FELICIA’S PKM ‘THE REMIX’

 

STRIVE FOR BALANCE IN POST DESIGN

I read this and had to share it because balance is essential!

The Daily Post

Once you’re in a blogging groove and the words begin to flow, you naturally begin to look for ways to enhance the look of your posts.

Adding images is a great way to reinforce ideas, emphasize or illustrate a specific point, provide visual breathing space within lengthy text passages, or even inject humor. When using images, take some sage advice from Mr. Miyagi of Karate Kid fame:

Better learn balance. Balance is key.

But this is blogging, not karate

Soource: WikipediaSource: Wikipedia

Ah yes, grasshopper, but did you know that balance is one of the bonafide principles of design?

Balance is embodied in a visually pleasing arrangement of the items on a page. For extra credit, you can read up on the different elements of balance.

Balance dos

While it’s your blog and you can do (almost) anything you want with it, here are some fast and…

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