Career Employment Strategies

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Project Management Excellence - Beyond Colourful Status Reports Demands Much More

Project management excellence goes beyond producing project charters, detailed schedules and colourful status reports. Today's project managers must acquire the skills necessary to combat a myriad of modern challenges. Factors such as downsizing, merger mania, restricted finances, an accelerated business pace, a multidisciplinary world, rising competition and seemingly ceaseless change, acting singly and in concert, demand much more.

Learning to manage time, costs, quality, scope, risks and other traditional practices is a vital foundation of good project management.. However, to achieve excellence and smoother-sailing successes, there's a dozen other competencies you need:

1. Negotiation - Negotiation is a vital part of every project manager's existence ... often moment by moment. Whether you're dealing with suppliers, managing employees or contractors, you're negotiating. The quality and success of your project can be directly affected by your ability (or inability) to negotiate.

2. Marketing - Project marketing methods sustain your project against competing against swarms of other initiatives that jostle for higher priorities, management's attention and valuable resources.

3. Selling - Project managers reluctant to sell may soon find their projects failing. You can never stop selling yourself and your project.

4. Customer Service - Without customers, we'd all be hanging a "for sale" sign on our careers. With good customer service, project managers keep customers happy, satisfied and loyal.

5. Boss Management - Wise project managers engage good boss management strategies. Boss support, guidance, mentoring and influence will be your reward. After all, bosses are human beings with special roles and authority, as well as the requisite levels of human weaknesses, problems and pressures.

6. Nurturing Staff - Hiring the perfect person is not a job that ends with a handshake or a signature on the dotted line. The selection represents but the first step in nurturing your staff.

7. Accounting - Your project inevitably entangles itself with accounting. It needs to account for consuming financial, staff and equipment resources while understanding how project results contribute to the interrelated components of financial statements such as bottom-line profits, revenue generation, expense reduction and increased cash flows.

8. Ethics - Ethical dilemmas are often most severe in projects on tight time and money budgets. Yet, properly applied, ethics fuel and support the vital element of trust with team members, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders.

9. Culture - Organizational culture consists of shared beliefs and values which produce norms for your team's behaviour. You are responsible for your project's culture. You need to understand the nature of that culture, how it is created, and how it can be changed to fuel high performance.

10. Stress Management - Shouldering the pressures of entrepreneurial fast-paced initiatives can send stress levels to dangerous heights. High blood pressure, insomnia and chronic fatigue insidiously affect project managers and staff. Although there is no "magic bullet" for every situation, learning to manage stress is the answer.

11. Innovation - Creativity and innovation are magic wands. They endow projects with enhanced performance and success by allowing the team to eliminate obstacles and hurdle barriers.

12. Managing Change - These days, change pounds on corporate doors with disturbing regularity. Disregard for its realities, provokes troublesome and costly consequences. Fostering change to initiate and maintain worthy initiatives, is an art and science.

Shakespeare's insight "we know what we are, but know not what we may be" eloquently endorses the potential for you to enrich your project management excellence. Empower yourself with the right skills. Cultivate high performance. Delight in the results.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Changing Careers? Avoid These 5 Classic Mistakes

Most of the experts say that the average person can expect to change careers (not just jobs) 3 to 5 times in their working life. The reasons? Many people are burnt-out, underpaid, stressed out, bored, unsatisfied, or at a career dead end. For some, their careers have changed on them --thanks to corporate mergers, changes in technology, company restructuring, age discrimination, and a thousand other reasons.

After counseling thousands of people in finding new careers and jobs, we have found that there are 5 classic mistakes most career and job changers make:


Not having a clear goal is like trying to run a race when you do not know where the finish line is. Many career changers have only a partial goal. They KNOW that they want a job with less stress, or more money, or more of a future, or more independence, or more satisfaction. A career goal, however, should be comprehensive, specific, clear, and realistic. It should include not only the practicalities of your situation, but also who you are, the realities of the job market, and the potential pitfalls.


Most career changers (and job seekers) spend more time worrying about their weaknesses than their strengths. Most people don't even know what their strengths are. But it is your strengths--not your weaknesses--that determine your career success. Get a professional assessment. This should also include your personal characteristics, motivation, aptitudes, goals, values, interests, and talents. A career and job decision is too important not to have this picture.


Sure, most people think about it for a long time, but thinking is not the same thing as detailed planning. Most people plan a night out with friends more carefully than they plan their careers. Planning would mean researching the new career, talking to people who are in the new career, getting some hands-on experience, reading (books, trade journals, industry newsletters), developing strategies for any possible negatives or problems, consulting with a mentor, knowing what education or training you would need, and other actions.


As a psychologist who has worked with underachievers of all ages, I can tell you that many have good intentions but fail to take action. This is, of course, a normal human trait. There are times when all of us procrastinate, give ourselves excuses, and do not do the things that will lead us to our goals. If you are changing careers, however, you had better be motivated. Only consistent, daily, well-considered action will get you where you want to go.


If you are changing careers, you need something more than the usual job search tactics. You need a strategy that fits who you are as a unique individual and the fact that you are changing careers. For example, if you tell a job interviewer (or anyone else) that you are "changing careers," it is the kiss of death. You see, if you are changing careers, then you are starting over--from square one--and are competing with kids just out of school. Instead, you should say, "I am taking the next step in my career" (which, actually, is closer to the truth for most career changers). Another example: Make sure your résumé is rewritten so that it doesn't "lock you in" to the old career. Go light on the jargon. Emphasize skills in the old career that would be a real advantage (not just "transferable skills") in the new career.

If you avoid these classic mistakes, you are well on your way to making a successful job and career change.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Are There Any Legitimate Work At Home Envelope Stuffing Jobs?

Have you come across any legitimate stay at home jobs, you might be searching for the
best online job that can give you the freedom you are looking for, but be careful, because
you are in a weak situation where you can fall for any scam that promise you get rich quick.

Although there are some legitimate work at home envelope stuffing jobs, most of the time is not worth your effort. Most companies don't need envelope stuffing staff from home, because they can do it very cheaply with in house staff and if they pay you anything to do envelope stuffing, will be an amount very insignificant.

The sites selling work at home envelope stuffing jobs, will ask you to pay certain amount before you qualify for the job, for processing fees and for a starter kit, that its suppose to help you or train you. I believe you should not get involve in this kind of stay at home jobs, there are many other legitimate stay at home jobs where you don't have to risk your money.

You must be aware, that the business on this work at home envelope stuffing jobs, is not in actually doing the envelope stuffing, but in selling the starter kit to other people like you. When you get you starter kit, you will see that they tell you how to promote with ads their starter kit to other people so you can get paid a commission for selling it.

This kind of actions are not ethical at all and you will be very disappointed once you find out how the business of this people really work. So my advice is to stay away from this false companies that advertise legitimate work at home envelope stuffing jobs.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

How To Choose Legitimate Work At Home Typing Jobs

If you have been looking for a way to make money from home, maybe you might want
to consider legitimate work at home typing jobs. Typing jobs can be very rewarding and
you can find a lot of them on different websites and the skills required will depend. Some
jobs may require you to do research to write articles and some just might be for filling forms.

If you want to choose to a work at home typing job, first decide what kind of typing job
you want to be doing. If you have writing skills and you have knowledge on some subject
or topics you can work for other people writing articles. In some sites you will find that
a lot of people are looking for writers, they usually pay around $7 to $12 for an original
500 word articles.

So, if you can write 5 quality articles a day of 500 words then you can earn around $50
dollars a day. Those articles doesent have to be complicated, you just have to write like
if you were talking to a person, just be sure to have proper grammar, to a little research
and check your punctuation. In a short period of time to can be making a nice living just
writing from home.

There are other ways to profit from legitimate work at home typing jobs, for example:
you can fill forms or do data entry. You dont need any special skill to work filling forms
or doing data entry, you just need time to get the task done every day and you can get
paid for it. Be sure to look for legitimate jobs and dont fall for get rich quick scams.

However, i suggest you to find work at home typing jobs or writing jobs by visiting the
freelance sites, networks, communities and forums were you will see hundreds of job
postings for freelance writing jobs.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

How To Get Yourself Promoted

The conventional employee mindset could be holding you back, keeping you from climbing the ladder as fast as you could with a different outlook.

If you're like most employees, you think of yourself as a pawn. You think it is up to ''them'' to promote you. Being honest, you don't want to ingratiate yourself with your boss, flatter him or butter him up. You might also hate selling yourself if that means talking a lot about how great you are. So, you keep your head down and work hard, waiting for your boss to come along and tap you on the shoulder. When it doesn't happen, what do you do? Again, if you're like most employees, you start showing your resentment. You start complaining about being overlooked, demanding your rights.

But this is a lose-lose strategy. Try viewing yourself as a business, say a self-employed consultant or service provider. If you were indeed running your own business, how far do you think you would get complaining to your customers for not buying your services? Or, what is almost as bad, just waiting around doing a good job hoping that your customers will see your worth and voluntarily start giving you more business.

The problem with the employee mindset is that you think you don't have to keep selling yourself once you're in the door. This is just not reality. You can never stop selling yourself. The only question is how to do it without feeling that you are compromising your integrity.

The first step is to start viewing yourself as a business, one that needs to keep selling in order to prosper. Then you have to cultivate the attitude that you aren't asking your boss or other potential internal customers to do you any favors. Instead, you need to beat around the bushes looking for ways you can help them. There is no use going to them and asking if they have a better job for you. That's like a consultant asking a client what other work they could give him. The problem with this approach is twofold. First, you're making the customer do all the hard work of figuring out how to use you. Second, you're putting both you and the customer on the spot by asking a closed (yes/no) question.

What you have to do instead is grab every opportunity you can with them to ask diagnostic questions that will help you figure out for yourself where they might have some gaps that you could fill. Ask questions about what your existing main customer (your boss) or other potential customers are trying to achieve, what's important to them, what's keeping them awake at night, how their big projects are going, etc.

This strategy has a number of benefits. First, by just asking questions like these, you show interest in your customer's business. Showing such interest is a much more effective way to sell yourself simply because you're focusing on your customer's needs, not your own. Boasting about what you can do focuses on your own needs and can be simply boring, if not actually annoying. People like to talk about what's important to them and they welcome anyone who wants to listen, who shows an interest.

Second, questions like these help you gather important intelligence. You may not find an unfilled vacancy in their department, but your questions might provoke them to think that there might be a better way of doing something. You don't even have to suggest such a thing. Questions alone, good brainstorming in other words, can lead to new ideas even if they don't come from you. It's well known that employers will hire people who are really interested in what they are doing and who they like. So, your strategy is to build a relationship with a few key internal customers by asking them questions and showing an interest in their business whenever you get the chance, however brief. Even if this doesn't lead to a new position being created for you, which it might, your customer is likely to think of you when an opening does come up.

The bottom line is that you have to dig out your own career opportunities, take more ownership for promoting yourself, not just wait for someone to approach you. It is no wonder employees feel frustrated in their careers. It's not just that they aren't getting promoted as fast as they'd like; the real problem is feeling so powerless to do anything about it. This is where they are wrong.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why Don't We Go for Self-employment?

For many years I managed and handled sales and marketing for a computer training centre. As part of the training mix, we offered a two year vocational course to school leavers. These courses were reliant on huge capital expenditure in terms of Apple computers as well as the software that went with it. Then we wanted all the international accreditations and those cost a fortune. In the end the course itself had to be sold for a fair amount of money to cover this as well as make a profit for expansion purposes.

During the enrollment process for a prospective student who was in the process of finishing his secondary school education, I would insist that parents or guardians and the youngster in question, would come for a one hour demo, to explain the industry, provide a basic outline of the course, one that the parents could understand as well and see whether junior looked enthusiastic enough for the hard work lying ahead of him.

One of the huge questions the parents would ask during the course of the demo was what the job opportunities were for their offspring. This seemed to be one of the most pressing questions. I could of course understand their concern. They were about to spend a fair amount of money on an education and they wanted to know whether this investment would provide a return for them and their child. This question was not as straightforward to answer. In principle the answer was yes. The publishing industry was going strong. The internet was just starting up, although still reeling from the disaster, but companies were starting to realise that they needed an online presence. This career path therefore had prospects.

However, the unknowns were the youngster's talents, work ethics, interest, perseverance, and whether he could market himself in a job interview. Besides these factors, one of the things I used to point out was that this was an industry that could also handle self-employment. Provided they worked hard during the course, they would have the skills to open up their own studio, or work as freelancers. There were therefore several options available.

The idea of self-employment never seemed to appeal to parents. The youngster generally looked quite enthusiastic about that. He would be able to do his own thing, which seemed quite attractive to him. What used to intrigue me was the fact that for parents the idea of employment was the main prize. I would imagine this stemmed from the days when life-long employment at a company was still remotely possible. Where people lived in the same house, until their kids hid them in a granny flat, so that they could get their inheritance early.

Working for somebody isn't really the first prize surely. Especially in the publishing industry, whether print or online, which requires long hours of toil, the pay is not good and the advancement opportunities for a computer operator, fairly minimal. Maybe studio/traffic/production head could be on the cards after many years of putting in long hours at the salt mines. Starting one's own little business, which also offers some benefits to write off expenses before tax, was not that unattractive one would think. The cost of computers has come down considerably in the last ten years and one definitely now gets more bang for ones bucks. And one could comfortably work from home. The entry-level risk was therefore minimal.

All these positive factors of course depended on bringing work in. And perhaps this was where the rub lay. The fear that not sufficient work would come in to cover the overheads and provide a profit stopped many an enterprising person when considering an own business. But then I felt that the risk, while living at home was minimal. Besides that the essence of starting a business is to network with anybody one knows and in the publishing industry that meant that work could come in just on the strength of that. Aunt Agatha's wedding could bring in wedding invitations, a website for the wedding so people could follow progress and download pics, and an interactive CD-ROM for the video memories. With other words a little imagination and talking to people around one could start a business quite comfortably.

The bottom line was that neither the parents nor the youngster really had sufficient self-confidence to launch a stand-alone business venture. The pay-off is like becoming a prisoner and throwing the keys to the handcuffs away. Working for somebody or some company means that the threat of the pink slip (getting fired) is always top of mind. It brings with it years of fear and insecurity. Is that fear any better than the fear of not bringing in enough work? And if one does bring in work into ones own business, it's there for one to make the money, rather than paying for a whole bunch of fat cats. Have you seen the CEO salaries lately? Fairly indecent. Who pays for that but the lowly worker bee who gets paid basic wages and who is at constant risk of getting fired or retrenched or 'retired'.

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