Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Are You a Micro or a Macro?

November 14, 2013

Are You a Micro or a Macro?.

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Colonoscopy: A Ticket to Success? : CareerFuel

October 17, 2013

Colonoscopy: A Ticket to Success? : CareerFuel.

Change of Plan, My Job Search is Going Startup : CareerFuel

October 2, 2013

Change of Plan, My Job Search is Going Startup : CareerFuel.

10 Ways to Get Hired : CareerFuel

September 11, 2013

10 Ways to Get Hired : CareerFuel.

Job-Seekers, What is in Your Mystery Basket? – CareerFuel

April 1, 2013

Job-Seekers, What is in Your Mystery Basket? – CareerFuel.

Job Wanted: Will Write, Edit, Photograph, Design, Cough for Food – CareerFuel

March 14, 2013

Job Wanted: Will Write, Edit, Photograph, Design, Cough for Food – CareerFuel.

What would You do to feed your family?

Help! My Spam Folder Runneth Over

January 26, 2013

 

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Spam, spam, spam, spam

 

 

They say history is written by the victors, and if my spam folder is any indication, they might just be right.

mcmahon

Ed McMahon

Now most of you know me as a blogger, contract writer/editor and semi-professional lawnmower (in season; call for rates and availability), so obviously I’ve got a lot of cash to flash around and waste on needless stuff.

My jammed up spam folder almost makes me long for the day when my snail mail mailbox would be filled with fliers, catalogs and “urgent” letters. I can’t recall the last Publisher’s Clearinghouse mailing that I received. Could the giveaway giant have died along with Ed McMahon?

Did you ever wonder if banks get tired of cashing those giant poster-size checks? I recall somebody even sold a gizmo that would compact all those mailings into a log that you could burn in your fireplace.

Anyway, somebody somewhere is convinced I’ve got cash to burn.

For instance, a group called Bathroom Remodeling wants to help me with, what else, bathroom remodeling. To think I’m one click away from a gorgeous new bathroom. Next!

Oh, there’s a Canadian Pharmacy that wants to send me Viagra and Cialis through the mail. I wonder if they throw in those matching bathtubs from the Cialis commercials? I’ll bet shipping is a bear.

Marriedbutlonely sent me a not to “Search the largest site for cheating wives.” So are we looking to pick up a cheating wife or two, or see if anybody we know is on the list? It’s a head-scratcher.

I get regular emails from Baker College in North Carolina. Wonder how our basketball team is doing?

Subject line: “Get healthier and be the center of attention while doing it.” That’s right, electronic cigarettes will help me pay the rent. I wonder if they bundle the Viagra and E-Cigs? I should email them about that.

Somebody who signs the email “generator” wants to sell me a generator. I wonder if they offered a Mayan end-of-the-world special. Let’s see, would you order something that could dramatically alter (think burn down) the conditi

on of your house from somebody who sent a note telling me I’d never be powerless? Didn’t think so.

Here’s one, record it all on a spy camera. And then what upload it to my XBox account or YouTube? Their emails are in there, too. Perhaps there is a spy camera film festival I could enter my work in. I’m saving that one. Darn spam filter must be set too high.

Now how can I stay away from buying a bra online while lowering my bills, getting my horoscope read, meeting cool singles, getting deal on a car and auto insurance and taking a course as an event planner all from the comfort of my living room? These email marketers are geniuses.

 

I’ll have to admit, there must have been some sort of karma that made my daily inspirational quote end up in the spam alongside all the others.

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Benjamin Franklin

benjamin-franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Ben, you had it right all along. I’ve squandered enough time with all this. Two clicks and the old spam folder is empty. Let the victors right about that one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barack, Joe: Thanks Helping Me Find My Career Sweet Spot

January 22, 2013
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Dear Barack, have you thought about a White House blogger from outside the Beltway?

When I started blogging, I promised myself that I wouldn’t just write to be writing.

I had seen too many self-indulgent rambling passages that people passed off as blogs, so I wanted my work to be worthwhile should somebody stumble across it and invest the time in reading it.

Blogger Jeff Bullas reported that in 2012 there were 429 million blogs, according to statistics from WordPress.com. From that number, there are 500,000 new posts a day and 400,000 comments are posted.

State-of-Blogging-in-2012

So in other words, thanks for finding me and reading my blog.

Because I am a job seeker, I pore through a lot of blog posts during the course of a day looking for new insights into perfecting the hunt and landing a job. Somehow my email has landed on a White House mailing list and amongst the random notes for growth hormones, unsightly hair removal and testosterone replacement was a note from Joe Biden that was titled simply, “If not now, when?”

Cool, I thought. The White House really cares about my job search. Barack and Joe are riding to my rescue. This couldn’t get any better!

Now I’m pretty sure I got on the White House email list because I have repeatedly attempted to get the president to send a recognition letter to my son acknowledging his earning the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s OK, by the way, son No. 2 is now getting close to becoming an Eagle, so maybe the White House can save some postage and just mail the two certificates together along with an offer to become the official blogger of the Obama administration.

What Joe was writing about was guns and gun control, but what I really wanted him to be spending time on is rebuilding our economy by helping people who have been without a full-time job so long they’ve either fallen off the radar or run out of unemployment benefits.

I don’t have the answer to guns and violence in our country. By I do see neighbors and friends fighting the good fight and watching their retirement funds and rainy day accounts slipping away as more burden is placed on the middle class.

Bruce Kasanoff recently penned an interesting article that we all need to take to heart. He suggested finding a sweet spot in our life and then pursuing things that fall within those parameters. The idea comes “Who Are You and What Do You Want?” by Mick Ukleja and Robert Lorber.

sweet spot

First, don’t be afraid to get messy in this exercise. First make ovals containing your strengths, passions and obligations. These should appear in a graphic shape like in fourth-grade math so that the ovals overlap.

It might take you two or three attempts, but ultimately the goal is to find where your obligations, strengths and passions coincide and build from that sweet spot.

I know most of us have this giant oval of obligations: Bills, taxes, rent, food, unexpected car/house repairs, the next shoe dropping, anything Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey said we should be saving for.

And it may take some soul searching to find out what you are truly passionate about. I know in my case I’ve let obligations stand in the way for such a long time that it is hard to let my passions show through for fear of not meeting my obligations.

Often times, societal expectations based on your perceived strengths can keep you from believing in your passions, and meeting your obligations simply serves to exacerbate the ability to dream and find the sweet spot.

So while I’m waiting to hear back from Joe and Barack about the whole White House blogger thing, I’m going to draw up some ovals and try to find that sweet spot. And if you have any influence with the West Wing, I’d still like those Eagle Scout certificates.

einsteinquote-300x225

Must have been talking about finding your sweet spot and going for it!

10 Ways To Wrestle A Gorilla

January 19, 2013

Gorilla Wrestling

“Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.”

–ROBERT STRAUSS

Job searching is not just a little like wrestling a gorilla, it’s a lot like wrestling a gorilla. Just when you’ve got three good interviews lined up and feel like you aced them all, reality kicks in when you get three “Dear John” phone calls or emails, and you’re back to square one.

Gorilla 1, job seeker 0.

If they paid people to take tests, do random writing exercises and sit through day-long interviews, I’d be rich and not writing this blog (insert LOL here).

Whether this is your fifth layoff rodeo or your first, there’s always a feeling of defeat and self-loathing that goes along with the loss of a job. Keep your chin up, chances are it wasn’t you but the situation that resulted in your being let go.

I’ve been at this job searching thing for more than a year with varying degrees of success (think contracts, bit parts and tryouts). Fortunately, early on in the process, I found some contract work to keep myself busy and cash flowing in while I look for the next big thing.

Here are some keys to fighting off insanity while you look:

1. No Jammie Pants: Finding a job is your job, so treat it that way. Whether you’re freelancing or just on the computer working the job boards and networks, do not sit around in your jammie pants. At my house, it is casual Friday every day, but absolutely no jammie pants.

2. Be A Man With A Plan: I keep a calendar by my computer primarily so I don’t feel like the days are tumbling out of control. It gets really easy to feel sorry for yourself when you lose the rhythm of going into an office and your days aren’t structured.

3. Discipline: The temptation will be to play on Facebook or Twitter all day, and trust me that probably won’t get you a job. I generally set a specific amount of time each day to a) look for a job using job boards and social media; b) learn a new skill that will be helpful in finding a new job. There are many free or inexpensive programs that can teach you new tricks; c) spend time networking by using emails, LinkedIn and other social media. This should be work and not play time, so be careful.

4) Get Moving: Exercise for at least one hour each day. Run, walk, bike; do something that gets you out of the house and your body moving. This will help both your mental and physical health. Plus, you never know when a running friend might have a job lead.

5) Get Out: Get out of the house every day. Don’t just sit there in the same old sweats you’ve worn for three days watching reruns. Even if it’s a quick trip for coffee, allow yourself time to get away from those same four walls.

6) Oprah-Free Zone: No veg’ing out in front of the TV. Finding a job is you JOB. Besides, how many episodes of “Friends” can you watch?

7) Do The Right Thing: This is your chance to put some good back in the world. Help an elderly neighbor. Volunteer. Do something to put good in the world without expecting anything in return. Call it karma.

8) Now’s The Time: Nail one of those projects you’ve been putting off for years. Spend an hour a day working on something you’ve been putting off. Sort and file that big stack of receipts. Tear down the tree house.

9) Ask For Help: Don’t be afraid to let your friends know that you’re looking for work. This isn’t your daddy’s job market. Everybody in this economy has either been laid off or knows somebody who has been laid off, so the stigma of layoffs isn’t there anymore.

Ask For More Help: If your resume isn’t getting a good response look to a neighbor, friend or relative for help. Even if all they do is run a spellcheck on your resume, you’d be surprised what a little help can do. If you’re lucky enough, you might just have a resume guru next door who can put your bio up on a lift and give it a good tune-up.

10) Don’t Freak Out: This can be a difficult one. I’ve been on a lot of interviews; been tested and retested; done IQ tests; you name it. I’ve been the runner-up or in the final three for so many jobs I’ve lost count.

Remember, getting close is a good thing. As frustrating as it is to miss out on a job and the promise of a consistent paycheck, you have to remember that although it feels like there is an accumulative effect of all these interviews, the people doing the hiring don’t feel that effect. They are looking for the right person for their job, so they don’t carry the burden that you do when you’ve missed out on several positions.

Keep Positive: That’s the biggest takeaway I can give you. On my first job many years ago the man who hired me quit just days after I started working. I saw him weeks later playing basketball at the Y. He told me to keep my sense of humor because it’s the only thing we can really call our own.

So keep your sense of humor, and remember the gorilla will eventually get tired, and you’ll land on your feet with a new job.

monkeytest2

Pinterest: Horseman Of Social Media Marketing Zombie Apocalypse?

January 17, 2013

 

    zombies

While out running recently, I let this thought tumble about in my head: Is it possible to keep the “social” in social media without sacrificing brand integrity?

In other words, can a buttoned-down conservative business or organization keep its well-heeled reputation while trading punches with the T-shirt wearing gang that trades barbs and casual conversations in the social media world?

Which somehow led me down a path to a strange conclusion that Pinterest might just be the third horseman of the social media marketing zombie apocalypse — the first two being Facebook and Twitter.

I’d like to think that YouTube is only a horseman’s page and not full-fledged foreteller of the end times, but you never know. It is one of the top search engines and especially important for the folks searching the “how-to” network.

Similar things can be said for upstart Instagram; it’s in the arena, but not quite ready for the joust. But who knows.

CHANNELING:  The commonly accepted practice for many online marketing is to use various social media channels to guide readers back to the mother ship, which is where the money is made. The home page is key to commerce with its pop-up ads, banners, shopping carts, inventory lists and assorted other goodies.

Along the way, they also hope to load your Web browser with enough spiders and cookies to give an 8-year-old a stomach ache and keep your email basket filled with custom-designed offers.

LANCELOT LINK: Getting consumers to the homepage is usually done by supplying links to the mother ship inside of all your postings, regardless of your choice of social media.

Facebook is particularly useful for this. I think this is probably the equivalent of the Christian apocalyptic vision of conquest. Who doesn’t like a good Facebook page? It’s easy enough to set up a business page and then link the heck out of your ever-changing content. Throw in a contest or sweepstakes and you’ve got Internet gold.

Ashton_Kutcher

Twitter is trickier. The demographic skews very young, and it’s a little tougher to drive traffic to the mother ship. Most Twitter followers are under 30. I hesitate to call them Millennials or Gen OMG-ers, so given their habit for doing everything on their cellphones or tablets, I think of them more as the “Smart” generation. And the Holy Grail for marketers is pushing things to their mobile devices.

U R So Smart: Twitter in my simple mind works essentially like this. If you have a big event, say #SuperBowl or #BCS, you can attract quite a crowd of followers but mainly in the moment. Say you’re watching a favorite sports team and you follow a certain associated hash tag, you’re bound to stumble into some lively chit chat.

The other big winners on Twitter are celebrities. Just for the sake of this blog post I looked up Ashton Kutcher and his site had 13.4 million followers. Remind me to @aplusk this post so I can get some more PV’s.

So we all want to jump on the trolleyand get pulled along by the momentum of a trending hash tag or celebrity tweet. During the course of the BCS title game, Katherine Webb became a Twitter darling when her account went from a few thousand to 271K today.

Katherine Webb

Katherine Webb

You see a lot of random stretches of logic by marketers trying to hop a ride on the Twitter train.

This, I suppose, is where the whole brand integrity question comes into play. Can an otherwise conservative enterprise come out and play on the court of spontaneity? Is it OK to drop your guard, albeit just a little bit, in order to be less staid and more conversational in the hope of gaining followers? How far out there, is “out there?”

Random note to decision makers: If your Facebook posts are merely copies of lengthy stories you have on your homepage, chances are you’re not even in the social media game. And why should anybody click on your link if you’re giving the information away for free on Facebook?

Early on in Web page building, people decided that the Internet had endless space, so it would be a perfect place to fill with all those lengthy stories, extra materials and extended video clips. And to some extent, it still is. But the successful sites are the ones that cater to short attention spans.

Two minutes of video can be an eternity, unless you’re streaming entire shows. But even those are mainly entertainment-based (think reruns of “The Office).

Pinterest Scared The P Out Of You Yet: So you’ve got Twitter and Facebook covered, but along comes Pinterest. Here’s a little secret about online video versus slideshows that a lot of decision makers don’t want you to know. It’s no contest. Stats show that on an average website, people would rather click through a slideshow.

The conundrum is it’s much easier to slap an ad roll on the front of a video and collect the clicks and go sell the space/time based on those numbers, than it is to track results of a slideshow.

Doing the same for slideshows is more difficult. Say you frame your slideshow with an ad, you don’t get to count a view with every click of the slideshow. Yet statistics show that image galleries and slideshows dwarf the number of page views that videos receive.

So Pinterest provides a target-rich environment for marketers. It’s helpful. It’s interactive. It’s dynamic. It’s interesting. And it’s full of potential. Perhaps, whoever learns to harness the energy of Pinterest will win the war of social media marketing. You can feel this horseman starting to mount his trusty steed.

A Pale Horse: Death is the final horseman of the apocalypse and on a pale horse he rides. Hopefully, we’re a long way from seeing this harbinger of the end times, or even the social media marketing zombie apocalypse.

pale horse 2