Strategies for Improving Workplace Behavior and Performance

From Leadership Expert Dr. Diane Hamilton

Opportunity Cost and Its Relationship to Curiosity at Work

When recently researching content for my work on curiosity, I was reminded of the importance of opportunity cost. For those not familiar with the expression, it means, “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.” In other words, what do you give up when you make a choice of one thing over doing something else? I meet many people who become paralyzed in their decision-making process because they find weighing alternatives challenging. However, what they might forget is that indecision is a decision.

In business leaders, often think about the benefits, profits, and values of actions and choices, but they often overlook how opportunity costs can be associated with people. If people’s skills are under-utilized and they are not aligned to jobs that match their interests, it is essential to consider the opportunity cost involved.

That is why it is important to consider the value of curiosity. I found that four factors hold people back from their natural levels of curiosity. These include fear, assumptions, technology, and environment. Fear can keep people from asking questions, from researching opportunities, and from exploring their natural creativity. Assumptions that employees might not like an activity or might not be good at it can keep people disengaged from improperly matched jobs. Inability to understand technology or fear of it is often overlooked. A culture or environment that does not promote curiosity can be the one thing that keeps the competition one step ahead in the race.

The opportunity cost of not developing curiosity in our workforce can lead to catastrophic results to the economy. Employees will need to learn new skills as technology replaces less-skilled labor. Organizations might have other opportunities for people who show initiative and creativity. Individuals who fear their jobs could be in danger, need to develop foresight to be proactive to change and become indispensable to organizations.

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Einstein, and others have all credited curiosity with their success. This experience drove me to determine how to ignite that desire in other people. What I discovered was that it was not enough to understand the value of curiosity; it was essential to determine the things that hold people back from being curious. That is why I created the Curiosity Code Index assessment to go along with the book, Cracking the Curiosity Code, to discover the things that impact curiosity and provide an action plan for how to improve.

Cracking the Curiosity Code and the CCI includes everything from:

  • How curiosity impacts engagement, creativity, innovation, and productivity
  • How fear, assumptions, technology, and environment (FATE) can impact curiosity
  • How to set strategies for overcoming the factors that hold people back

The book and assessment are due to be released by the end of 2018. To learn more and get notified of their release, please go to http://curiositycode.com. Consider the opportunity cost of not improving your curiosity. Can you, your company, and your employees afford it?

To Become a Highly Effective Leader: Reduce Fear by Developing Curiosity

It might be surprising, but many leaders fear being discovered for not being as smart as they appear.  Realistic or not, people often look to leaders as if they should know everything. This external pressure often leads to internal pressure.  Leaders fear criticism, failure, making hard decisions, taking responsibility, or being unable to reach an important goal.  Because of this, leaders often surround themselves with experts in areas with which they have less experience or knowledge, which can be a very crucial to their success.  However, this can also keep them from developing some of these skills on their own.  There are other things leaders can do to be truly effective, including developing their sense of curiosity in areas with which they might not normally be comfortable. Continue reading “To Become a Highly Effective Leader: Reduce Fear by Developing Curiosity”

The Cost of Low Engagement and How to Improve It

engagement

Many people misunderstand the meaning of engagement. It is important to note that engagement does not mean satisfaction. Engagement refers to an emotional commitment to an organization and its goals.  Engagement, generational conflict, emotional intelligence, and other communication issues are some of the most requested speech topics by organizations. This is not surprising because 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from relationship-based issues.  Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between engagement and performance.  Leaders with high levels of engagement also were more transformational, had higher levels of interpersonal skills, and had a better sense of well-being. Continue reading “The Cost of Low Engagement and How to Improve It”

Soft Skills: Critical to Employee Success

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Attend any leadership conference, and someone likely will bring up startling statistics regarding how employees and leaders lack something they refer to as soft skills. This term is used to describe many qualities that include interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and other personality-based issues. The problem that many organizations have experienced is that people are hired for their hard skills, or in other words, for what they know (knowledge). Then later, are often fired for their lack of soft skills, or what they do (behaviors). If employers recognize the importance of soft skills, they can avoid costly hiring and training mistakes, improve turnover, and boost productivity. Continue reading “Soft Skills: Critical to Employee Success”

Expert Speaker and Trainer, Dr. Diane Hamilton, Available for Corporate Events

I have updated my speaker and training bio. Please click on the picture below to watch the video. To contact me for an event, please go to http://www.speakermatch.com/profile/drdianehamilton/

Entrepreneurs: Help for Getting Started

I had to opportunity to interview Martin “Marty” Zwilling this week.  Marty has an impressive background.  He is a former executive with IBM.  He has served on multiple advisory boards.  He currently works as an author and consultant.  His company, Startup Professionals, is dedicated to helping new entrepreneurs succeed.  He gave some great insight regarding some of the toughest issues facing new entrepreneurs. The following is our six-part interview. Click on the link below the picture.  Scroll to next video with the arrow at the bottom after watching each one. Continue reading “Entrepreneurs: Help for Getting Started”

Grammar: When It Just Does Not Sound Correct

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My job has taught me that a lot of people struggle with grammar and spelling. My first sentence brought to mind one of the most common spelling errors. Many of my students type “a lot” as one word, which is incorrect. There is no such word as “alot”. If spelling is not hard enough, grammar is just as tricky because some things that are correct, do not sound correct. I know I tend to say things incorrectly just to sound like everyone else. For example, people might look at you funny if you correctly stated, “that is she” instead of incorrectly stated “that is her”. Continue reading “Grammar: When It Just Does Not Sound Correct”

Professors’ Expectations: Helpful Writing Tips for College Students

 

Students often struggle with writing essays.  Some have difficulty with structure. Others dread dealing with APA formatting. I teach everything from bachelor-level to doctoral-level courses.  The following contains some helpful writing tips that I have found may make writing essays a little easier.

Continue reading “Professors’ Expectations: Helpful Writing Tips for College Students”

Entrepreneurs and Celebrities Use Kickstarter for Funding

 

Kickstarter has been a successful crowdfunding option for potential entrepreneurs to garner cash.  However it has not been without some issues.  According to The Wall Street Journal article The Trouble With Kickstarter, “The only thing worse than having to watch your friend’s arty movie is having to pay for it too.” Aside from the problems associated with pestering friends to donate, there have been some successful ventures thanks to this site.  The following list contains some of names of celebrities who have used the site:

Continue reading “Entrepreneurs and Celebrities Use Kickstarter for Funding”

Facebook Better for Following Blogs than RSS

 

Facebook has made it so much easier to follow just about anything.  RSS feeds and Twitter are still an option for many people. However, with Facebook, once someone “likes” a page, it shows up in their feed on their homepage whenever anything from that page is updated.  Unlike Twitter and RSS feeds, on Facebook, it is easier to see pictures and information.

It is simple to create a Facebook page that includes links to blogs like this one.  What I think is great about a Facebook page is that I can incorporate links to this blog, to my other blogs, and any other sites.  It is an all-in-one spot to access information. To see my Facebook page, click here.

Continue reading “Facebook Better for Following Blogs than RSS”

Online vs. Traditional Faculty Demands

MOOCs have drawn attention to the different requirements of online vs. traditional teaching jobs.  I recently watched Dr. Dani Babb’s Udemy presentation titled How to Make Money Teaching as an Online Professor.  She said something that I thought was interesting.  She had worked as a traditional professor prior to becoming an online professor.  When she discussed the job requirements of an online professor, she mentioned that online professors have to deal with students who expect a lot more interaction in the online environment than the traditional one.  This is very true.  This is also something that I do not think gets enough attention in the media.

Continue reading “Online vs. Traditional Faculty Demands”

A Professor’s Top 15 Book Recommendations

 

One of the hardest things I had to do when I moved was to get rid of some of my books.  My house was starting to look like a Barnes & Noble.  I kept the textbooks I use for my courses and a few others that I found especially useful or interesting.  The following list is in no particular order.  It contains some of my favorite books that I kept. I often recommend them to my students:

  1. Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More than IQ by Daniel Goleman  – Goleman is one of the main thought-leaders in emotional intelligence.  This book is easy to read and explains the importance of emotional intelligence.
  2. The Happiness Advantage:  The Seven Principles of  Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by  Shaw Achor – This book included some interesting information about how to be happy.  I liked the author’s style.  It is entertaining and interesting.
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  This book is required reading in many courses.  Although some students hesitate to pick up “self-help” books, this one is a classic for good reasons.
  4. Emotional Intelligence in Action by Marcia Hughes, Bonita Patterson, James Terrell, and Reuven Bar-On.  This book is a helpful tool to develop emotional intelligence in teams.
  5. The Pig That Wants to be Eaten:  100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher by Julian Baggini.  This strange little book was required reading for a course I taught about foresight.  My technology students love it.  It is filled with short stories. It is not for everyone. However, it is a book that will make you think.
  6. Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice by Howard Gardner. Gardner’s work in multiple intelligences is an important foundation for anyone studying personality assessments.
  7. The Effective Executive:  The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter Drucker. Drucker’s book is often required in management and leadership courses.
  8. The Bugaboo Review:  A Lighthearted Guide to Exterminating Confusion about Words, Spelling and Grammar by Sue Sommer.  This is a fun book to teach spelling and grammar.
  9. Between You and I: A Little Book of Bad English by James Cochrane.  This is helpful book to teach grammar.
  10. Eats, Shoots, & Leaves:  The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss.  This is another fun book to explain the importance of punctuation.
  11. It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:  Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace by Diane Hamilton and Toni Rothpletz.  This is a book written by my daughter and me.  It explains all of the top personality assessments and helps readers understand how to get along with other people at work.
  12. The Elements of Style by William Strunk.  This is a classic book on  how to write correctly. Most authors keep a copy of this.
  13. On Writing Well:  The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zessner. I like how Zessner teaches writers to write in a simple way.
  14. The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student by Diane Hamilton. This book will help new and continuing students to be successful in online classes.
  15. Entreleadership: 20 Years of Practical Wisdom from the Trenches by Dave Ramsey.  This book contains a compilation of things that managers or entrepreneurs should know but may have never learned.

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Hiring Graduates Based on Personality Skills

HR professionals within organizations have given personality assessments to potential employees for many years. I was asked to take a personality assessment for a pharmaceutical sales job in 1987.  The changes I have noticed since that time include the type and frequency of personality tests given.  What also may be trending is the fact that leaders of schools have become more interested in personality assessments. In the Wall Street Journal article Business Schools Know How You Think, but How Do You Feel, author Melissa Korn explained, “Prospective MBA students need to shine by showing emotional traits like empathy, motivation, resilience, and dozens of others.”  Schools may be interested in these traits because organizations value these traits.  Korn also explained, “Measuring EQ-or emotional intelligence quotient-is the latest attempt by business schools to identify future stars.”

I find this trend to be particularly interesting because I teach business, I am a qualified Myers Briggs instructor, a certified EQ-i instructor, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between emotional intelligence and sales performance.  I have also witnessed that online schools have placed more importance on personality assessments. Many of my first-year students must take a Jung-like personality test.  Many of my undergraduate and graduate business students have to assess their EQ.

I think it is important for these personality preference and emotional intelligence issues to be addressed in online courses.  Some of the things that may hurt a graduate’s chance of obtaining is job include having poor self-assessment skills, poor interpersonal skills, and a lack of concern for how they are perceived by others.

When I was in pharmaceutical sales, they rated us each year on our concern for impact.  It was such an important part of what they believed made us successful in the field, that there were consequences to poor judgment and rude behavior.  In the book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, there is a chapter regarding concern for impact, as well as one for Myers Briggs MBTI, Emotional Intelligence, DISC, and many other personality assessments that may help young adults in the workplace. One of the universities for which I teach requires students to read this book in a foresight course.

It is important for online students to learn about these assessments because employers use them.  Some personality traits stay with us throughout our lives.  The MBTI is an example of an assessment that determines preferences that may not change.  This assessment may be helpful to students who are not sure about career paths.  Other assessments like the EQ-i determine emotional intelligence levels.  The good news about emotional intelligence is that it may be improved. Marcia Hughes has written several books about how to improve EQ in the workplace.  The savvy online students will work on developing their EQ and understanding personality preferences before they graduate.  By being proactive, students may have a better chance of being successful in a career that matches their personality preferences.

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What to Expect in Online Doctorate Degree Courses

As a doctoral chair, it is my responsibility to help guide students through their doctoral dissertation process.  In order to receive a doctorate through online courses, there is a series of courses that students take prior to the time they begin writing the proposal for their dissertation.  Each online program varies to some degree.  Based on the two programs I have either taken or taught, I can say that they were pretty similar.  The following is what students might expect from an online doctoral program.

Students must first complete a series of online courses that address their field of study. For example, I received a degree that is titled: Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with a Specialization in Management.  That means that those initial courses included a specific focus on business management.  Some students may combine their Master’s with their Doctorate.  Assuming that students have already taken the thirty or so credits required for a Master’s degree, there may be another 10 or 15 courses required in the field of specialization. In this case, it would be to study business management.  These courses are not that different from taking graduate-level classes.

After finishing those courses, students begin taking courses that are more specific to the proposal and final dissertation.  It is difficult to state how many courses may be required at this point. Some students require fewer courses than others based on how much work they complete within the scheduled time for each course.  I have had some students make it through the dissertation in the process by taking only three dissertation courses.  Others may take a dozen or more courses to finish.  It depends upon how much students have done on their own prior to beginning the doctoral courses, how quickly they work, and the type of research they do.

The steps in the doctoral process include writing the proposal (which describes how the study will be performed, aka chapters 1-3 of the final dissertation), obtaining proposal approval, doing the research, writing the final dissertation (updating Chapters 1-3 and writing Chapters 4-5), obtaining approval for the dissertation, defending the dissertation in an oral presentation, and finally having the doctoral chair, doctoral committee, and dean give a final seal of approval.

The hardest part generally seems to be writing the proposal or the first three chapters.  This is difficult because students have to learn how to write in a very specific and scholarly way.  There are templates that may provide helpful information regarding alignment, content requirements, and formatting.   Students work very closely with their chair during this time.  Students must also have at least two committee members.  Some schools, like the one I attended, required an additional outside member to review the dissertation.  All members of the committee must have a doctorate.

Students usually work strictly with the chair until Chapters 1-3 are ready to submit. At that point, the committee looks at the work to give input and make suggestions.  After all adjustments are made, the proposal goes through several stages of approval.  Students may need to submit more than once if there are changes requested. This is commonly the case.  Once the proposal is approved, students can perform the study, and eventually write the last two chapters that describe the results.  This final document goes through the chair and committee approval process again, and eventually must meet with the dean’s approval.  The last step is for students to defend the dissertation in an oral presentation.  Usually that is the easiest part of the process because students know their study inside and out by that time.  It takes some students just a few years to go through the process.  Others take much longer. Some never finish.  It is a very difficult process.  However, in the end, it is worth it.

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The PayPal Mafia: What is a Serial Entrepreneur?

The PayPal Mafia refers to a group of individuals who created multiple companies that created a frenzy of growth in the Silicon Valley.  The entrepreneurs created PayPal before they set out to develop other multiple successful technology-based companies.  These men are serial entrepreneurs or individuals who, “continuously come up with new ideas and starts new businesses. As opposed to a typical entrepreneur, who will often come up with an idea, start the company, and then see it through and play an important role in the day to day functioning of the new company, a serial entrepreneur will often come up with the idea and get things started, but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture.”

To learn more about some of the individuals associated with the PayPal Mafia check out the following members and how their initial success led to other serial successes:

For a more complete list of the PayPal Mafia members and their accomplishments, click here.

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Entrepreneurs Replacing People with Tablets

 

One of the hardest parts of getting a new business off of the ground is to have enough funding.  Many entrepreneurs use family members as personnel in order to avoid paying wages.  It may be quite expensive to hire people to take orders or process requests.  The Wall Street Journal article Can the Tablet Please Take Your Order Now included some examples of how some small businesses have begun to use tablets instead of people in the customer-ordering process.

If customers can order through a digital device, it may not only be cheaper but faster.  There are app-building tools that entrepreneurs can use to create a way for customers to input their orders.  Some companies have used QR codes to speed up the order process. Using apps is another logical alternative. With talk of increasing the minimum wage, some small businesses are looking for ways to remain profitable.  If tablets become a popular way to order, it may impact many minimum-wage workers.  “In all, one-third of low-wage workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 100 employees, according to the National employment Law Project, an organized-labor-backed advocacy group for low-wage workers.”

Not only may entrepreneurs experience some cost savings by utilizing tablets and apps, there may be some other entrepreneurial opportunities for the app designers.  According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Some entrepreneurs see a promising market in selling technologies to small businesses that might help them to streamline operations.”  While this may cost some minimum wage-earners jobs, it may also be opportunities to train them for higher-skilled positions.

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Famous Entrepreneurs Provide Inspiration

There are plenty of examples of entrepreneurs who failed before they became successful.  Some of them even explain that failure has taught them their most valuable lessons.  While this may be true, many prospective entrepreneurs fear failure.  One way to avoid problems is to learn from those who have experienced negative issues and still managed to succeed.

Entrepreneur.com recently published the article 10 Inspirational Leaders Who Turned Around Their Companies.  In this article, author Stephanie Vozza explained, “From Apple’s Steve Jobs’ demanding personality to Marvel’s Isaac Perlmutter’s frugal methods, these sometimes-controversial CEOs weren’t always popular with employees, but they earned the respect of shareholders.”

For some unusual entrepreneurial examples, check out the VentureVillage article The Top Ten Startup Founder Blogs Every Entrepreneur Should Follow.  These entrepreneurs offer a different perspective and update their blogs on a regular basis.

For more information for how to be a successful entrepreneur check out:

Linkedin Endorsements Poorly Utilized

 

Linkedin has provided an opportunity for networkers to endorse the skills of people with whom they are connected.  This was meant to be a time saver for people who normally wrote full recommendations. The idea had promise.  However, it is not being utilized well.  When users sign onto their Linkedin profile, they are given a list of people in their network and asked if they want to endorse them for a particular skill. There is the option of being able to endorse all of the people that pop up as choices.  The problem is, many people are doing that.  People may receive many endorsements from people who have not witnessed some of the skills they have endorsed.  At that point, the Linkedin endorsements become meaningless.

It is far too easy to choose the option of endorsing people as it is currently configured.  If the point was to make recommendations easier, it is understandable that there should be some way to do that.  However, if everyone is endorsing everyone for everything, there is no value to the endorsement.

To find out more about Linkedin’s Endorsements check out the following articles

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Top Links for Employee Onboarding

 

New employees go through a process that is referred to onboarding.  This is the time that the company can make employees feel welcome.  It is also a time when they can begin to work on things like creating open communication, sharing a corporate vision, and defining goals. In the article Employee Onboarding, the following list contains high-level objectives of onboarding:

  • Helping the employee to identify with their new employer.
  • Allowing the employee to understand some of the company’s values and priorities.
  • Building an optimistic attitude towards the company.
  • Avoiding misunderstandings.
  • Helping the employee feel valued.
  • Encouraging socialization and creating a sense of belonging.
  • Reducing new employee anxiety.
  • Setting of performance expectations.
  • Decreasing the learning curve.

For more information about how employers and employees can have a successful onboarding process, check out the following articles:

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Update Your Resume for the New Year

 

One New Year’s resolution to consider is to update your resume.  Whether you are in job-search mode or have been with a job for a while, it is always good to be prepared.  The job market is constantly changing and people sometimes lose jobs that they had considered solid.

I recommend checking out the Ragan article 10 Words or Phrases That Shouldn’t be on Your Résumé. I like that the author mentioned the importance of not simply listing the word experienced. “Although you may have many years working in a certain field, don’t sell yourself short by using a word as vague and general as “experienced.” Get specific. Make a note of how long you’ve worked in a certain industry, how many clients you’ve had, what your sales were, and how much you increased profitability. Employers want to see results, not fluff.”

I have had to review many resumes that were sloppy, complicated, and just difficult to decipher. Due to a wealth of information on the Internet, there is no excuse for having a poor resume.

I recommend checking out some of the following links:

It is also simple to create a resume within a Word document.  To find templates, go to the file dropdown menu and pick new.  In the search bar, type in the word: resume.  This will bring up a list of free templates that can be easily modified.

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Top Business and Career Trends for 2013

 

Potential entrepreneurs often look for the next big idea.  With changing technology, it is important to have foresight.  It is not always necessary to be the first company to offer a product or idea.  Facebook is an excellent example of this. Sometimes an idea can be improved upon or tweaked.

Once an entrepreneur comes up with an idea, they must create a feasibility study.  After creating a viable plan, there are some unique ways entrepreneurs may obtain financing.  Crowdfunding and microlending are just one of the latest trends.  Check out the Top 7 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Obtain Funding.

Some experts have tried to predict the next big areas for innovation. There are even sites like Trendhunter that offer trend reports to help with predictions. For those interested in getting ahead of the game, check out some of the top articles on business and career trends for 2013:

  1. Top 4 Career Trends for 2013
  2. Consumer Trends for 2013
  3. Top HR Trends for 2013
  4. 2013 Trend Customers Will Be In Your Face
  5. Mobile Payments Trends for 2013
  6. Mobile Trends 2013
  7. 2013 Trends Affecting Businesses
  8. Biggest Trends in Business 2013
  9. Lean Start-Ups and Connected Economy Trends 2013
  10. 5 Business Trends to Ignore in 2013

The last article is an interesting one, because sometimes people look at trends as positive things.  That may not always be true.  An important point was made in that article.  Bringing value to customers should be a primary goal.

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When Employers Utilize Employee Background Checks

 

Employers have no shortage of prospective employees in this economy.  In order to determine the best candidates, it is not uncommon for employers to run background checks.   Employeescreen.com reported that there may be some debate over the impact of these checks:  “it’s argued by employers that conducting criminal background checks assists in ultimately ensuring a safer work environment for everyone, reducing negligent hiring and criminal activity in the workplace. From the EEOC’s perspective the increase in criminal background checks for employment could cause discrimination in the hiring process.”

Background checks are in the news right now due to The Supreme Court Case of Vance v. Ball State University.

According to the EEOC, the following shows the likelihood of a job candidate to receive a background check:

  • 91% of financial jobs (banking, etc.) with fiduciary responsibility
  • 46% of senior executive positions
  • 34% of positions that require accessing confidential information (medical, salary, etc.)
  • 30% of positions where there is access to property
  • 11% of positions where state law requires it (day care, medical practitioner)
  • 9% of positions with security responsibilities (security guards)
  • 8% of positions involving national defense
  • 5% of positions that involve safety (transportation operation)
  • 3% of positions that involve contact with children and elderly

When Michael Eastman, (Executive Director of the Labor Law Policy with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) was asked about when credit checks were performed, he explained, “Different components of applicant background checks occur at different stages in the hiring process. Some employers may check references before an initial interview, some may do so afterward but before creating a final list of candidates. However, as I understand, most employers do not request credit history until the last stage of the hiring process. In other words, employers are not using credit history to compare the credit worthiness of several possible applicants. Instead, they are requesting credit history and potentially other information, on individuals that they are otherwise prepared to hire.”

For more information check out Michael Eastman’s Statement that includes the following issues regarding background checks:

  • Frequency in Use
  • Credit Scores and Information Utilized
  • Dialogue with Applicants
  • Can Credit History Ever be Job Related

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Data Reveals What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur

 

The Wall Street Journal recently listed some interesting statistics regarding entrepreneurs.  Ewing Marion Kauffman’s data was used to create an infographic.  According to the article By the Numbers:  Taking the Measure of Entrepreneurs, the following gives more insight as to who becomes an entrepreneur:

  • Age – The average age for an entrepreneur is 40 years old.
  • Education – Over 95% of entrepreneurs hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and over 47% have advanced degrees.
  • Background – Over 71% came from the middle-class and 1% came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds.
  • Funding – For 70% of entrepreneurs, the main source of funding came from savings.
  • Family – First borns accounted for over 42% of entrepreneurs. They had an average of 3 siblings.  Just over half of them were the first in their family to start a business.  Nearly 70% were married and nearly 60% had at least one child.
  • Success – When asked what entrepreneurs felt was important for success, 73% listed luck as an important factor.
  • Location – The highest numbers of entrepreneurs are in Arizona, Texas and California. The lowest numbers are in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii.

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Companies Interested in Supertemps

 

Welcome to the ever-changing corporate environment.  As virtual jobs become popular, so have other non-traditional job types.  The supertemp is gaining popularity in the business world.  What is a supertemp? According to The Harvard Business Review article The Rise of the Supertemp, “Supertemps are top managers and professionals—from lawyers to CFOs to consultants—who’ve been trained at top schools and companies and choose to pursue project-based careers independent of any major firm.”

Entrepreneurial people may find the life of a supertemp to be appealing.  The author of the Forbes article Are You Ready for the Supertemp, explained that Supertemps may “now pick and choose from among many cool, well-paying projects, sometimes obtained through agencies that work with these high-end independents.

What type of people become supertemps? According to the Darton Equation article What is a Supertemp and Why Should You Care , “Supertemps are refugees from big corporations, law firms and consulting firms. Supertemps value the autonomy and flexibility of project-based work. Supertemps find that the compensation is comparable to what they earned in full-time jobs (sometimes even better). Supertemps leave behind endless internal meetings and corporate politics. Supertemps find any stigma on temporary jobs, and the people who chose them, as laughably dated.”

For those interested in becoming a supertemp, check out the CBS article: How to Become a $600K Per Year Supertemp.

Some job sites are now listing Supertemp in their job descriptions.  Check out this University of Virginia Supertemp opening.

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Glass Ceiling Under Magnifying Lens

 

The recent presidential debate brought attention to women in the business world.  The phrase glass ceiling is often used to describe the unofficial barrier to advancement that women may face in the working world.

In the Business Insider article Companies Really Lose Out When They Don’t Promote Women, author Max Nisen explained “Women are still vastly underrepresented at the top of companies. Only 20 percent of private companies have one or more women in the C-suite and only 6.5 percent have a female CEO.”

This information comes from a new study from Dow Jones Venture Source.  The data from this study showed that only “1.3% of privately held companies have a female founder.”  The good news was that “a company’s odds for success (versus unsuccess) increase with more female executives at the VP and director levels.  For start-ups with five or more females, 61% were successful and only 39% failed.” This data brings forth the question of whether companies could benefit from more female executives.

In the article Women Becoming More Successful than Men, it was noted that women are becoming better educated than men. Women are becoming stronger entrepreneurs as well. Forbes recently reported: “As of 2011, it is estimated that there are over 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Overall, women-owned firms have done better than their male counterparts over the past 14 years. The number of men-owned firms (which represent 51% of all U.S. firms) grew by only 25% between 1997 and 2011—half the rate of women-owned firms.”

The Washington Post explained that women’s issues helped shape the debate. Both candidates tried to show their support for women in business.

Business News reported that there are cracks in the glass ceiling as women gain boardroom seats. Though few women occupy boardroom seats, “Overall, growth equaled 1 percentage point in the past year among Fortune 1000 companies, but was larger among companies listed between 501 and 1000 by Fortune. Women made up 13.6 percent of board members at those companies, up 1.2 percentage points in the past year.”

The debates may bring more attention to women in the workplace, create more discussion and cause more than just cracks in the ceiling.

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Top 7 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Obtain Funding

 

The good news is that entrepreneurs have more options for funding than in the past.  According to Entrepreneur.com, access to capital is improving for small businesses. This may be a frightening time to begin an entrepreneurial venture.   However, there are an increasing number of available financing options. The following list contains some of the most prevalent in the current market.

  1. Banks – The number of people going to banks for loans is increasing. “According to a report this week on banks with more than $10 billion in assets, the overall volume of loan applications increased by 5.6 percent in September over August, reports Biz2Credit, an online credit marketplace in New York City that connects small and midsize businesses with lenders.”
  2. SBA Loans – Entrepreneurs have also traditionally gone with loans from the Small Business Association.  “In 2011… it backed $30.5 billion in 61,689 loans to small business.”
  3. Angel Investors – “Angels invested $9.2 billion in 27,280 startups in the first two quarters of 2012, a 3.1 percent increase in dollars and a 3.7 percent increase in number of entrepreneurial ventures over the same time in 2011, according to a report this week from the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire.”
  4. Venture Capitalists – “In 2012, venture capital firms have raised $16.2 billion, representing a 31 percent increase from the $12.4 billion raised in the first nine months of 2011, according to a report from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association released this week.”
  5. Crowdfunding – There have been some unusual ways that entrepreneurs have managed to raise funds.  Crowdfunding has been growing in popularity.  Entrepreneurs can raise funds through networking on the internet.  Supports fund other people’s ideas or interests.
  6. Microlending – One of the top microlending sites is Kiva.org. Kiva is “a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.”
  7. PledgingKickstarter is a unique site allows entrepreneurs to keep ownership and control over their work while tens of thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to help finance their creative ideas. The idea must reach its funding goal or no money changes hands. Entrepreneurs that receive their anticipated funds, can test concepts without risk.

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Avoiding Entrepreneurial Failures

 

It is the American dream to start a business, achieve growth with that business, and possibly someday pass it along to children or sell it for a profit.  In the article, Boomers Can’t Retire, it was explained how some entrepreneurs have found that they are unable to retire. The American dream may not be as easily attainable as some may think.  The Wall Street Journal article, Venture Capital’s Secret: 3 out of 4 Start Ups Fail, listed some unfavorable start-up statistics:

  • 75% of venture-backed US firms don’t return capital investment
  • Around 30% of start-ups fail completely – 95% if the definition of failure is projected return
  • Nonventure-backed companies fail more than venture-backed
  • 60% of start-ups make it three years and 35% make it ten

Author and Professor at Harvard Business School, Noam Wasserman, has some advice for future entrepreneurs in his book The Founder’s Dilemmas:  Anticipating and Avoiding Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup.  In his book, Wasserman explains, “Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin.”

The new entrepreneur must consider problems they may encounter with people, as well as possible pitfalls he or she may encounter down the road.  By having foresight, the new entrepreneur can learn to be proactive to change.

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Do Job Candidates Lie on Personality Tests?

 

Companies often use personality tests like the Myers Briggs MBTI, emotional intelligence EQ-i, or others like the DISC to determine if potential employees’ personalities are a good fit for jobs.  I noticed a conversation about whether companies should use personality tests for screening employees. It seemed that many of the responses indicated that people will just lie to get the job.

There is the possibility that any subjective, self-administered test could be manipulated.  However, many of the tests have built-in detectors that try to catch inconsistent responses.  For those of you who have taken these tests, you may have noticed that it seemed like they asked the same kind of questions more than once.  Many of these tests reword things several different ways to determine consistency.

I took a personality test for a job as a pharmaceutical representative in the early 80’s.  Because it was a sales job, I knew that they were looking for sales-related qualities.  It was common sense to figure out that since I was applying for a sales position, I should use appropriate adjectives like motivated or driven to describe my personality.

The problem with lying on the personality tests is that in the end, you will end up with a job that does not really fit with what makes you happy.  Also the company will end up with an employee that is not the best match for the job.  In this economy, many people are willing to do whatever it takes to get any job.  However, the experienced HR professional should do more than just use a personality test to determine a good candidate.  These tests can be useful tools if used correctly.  However, they are just one of many tools.

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Boomer Entrepreneurs Can’t Retire

 

One of the things entrepreneurs plan for is the time that they will eventually sell their company.  Currently many older business owners have found it difficult to reap the anticipated rewards of retirement. As the author of the Entrepreneur Exit Strategies for your Business pointed out, “it’s not enough to build a business worth a fortune; you have to make sure you have an exit strategy, a way to get the money back out.” If businesses were once very successful, the economy may have impacted their current worth.  Even with what may once have been considered a strong exit strategy, plans may have been affected by the economic downturn.

Boomers trying to sell their businesses are receiving offers that are not enough to finance their retirement.  In the Wall Street Journal article The Economy Stole My Retirement, it noted that one small business owner expected to sell for $2 million but recent losses from the recession has made that impossible.  She now has seen offers as low as $250,000.

Business owners who had planned to travel and relax in their golden years are now spending 10-12 hours a day or more working to salvage companies.  Some have no foreseeable chance of selling in the future.  Many have put all of their money into their businesses and would have to live only on social security if they let the businesses fail.

While it is admirable to have high expectations for an entrepreneurial venture, it is the wise business owner who does not keep all of his or her eggs in one basket.  Just as Enron employees learned the hard way, it is not a good idea to have all of your money invested in the company in which you work.  If the company goes under, people not only lose their jobs but their life savings as well.

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Companies Jump through Hoops to Please Millennials

Sixty Minutes did a great show on the millennial generation titled The Millennials Are Coming.  In that report, they explained how Generation Y or millennials are unique in their expectations at work.

The Wall Street Journal’s article Firms Bow to Generation Y’s Demands continues to explore how companies are offering incentives and jumping through hoops to keep millennials happy.  This has become a problem for older employees who feel this is inappropriate.

Companies are bowing to younger generations’ needs because, “they bring fresh skills to the workplace: they’re tech-savvy, racially diverse, socially interconnected, and collaborative. Moreover, companies need to keep employee pipelines full as baby boomers entire retirement.”

Companies like Aprimo are dangling the carrot of the probability of a one-year promotion to attract talent.  Their OnTrack program, launched in 2005, has had 100% of participates receive promotions and increased salaries within a year.

Companies are witnessing personality conflicts within the workplace because boomers may view that millennials receive special treatment.  “Boomers often gripe about their younger colleagues as arrogant kids who don’t know how to dress appropriately, deal with customers or close deals.”

The key to handling multiple generations within the workplace may revolve around understanding individual personality preferences. To find out more about personality types in the workplace check out:  It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:  Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace.

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How Businesses can Maximize Online Presence

 

While business leaders may constantly hear they need to maximize their online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, there may be more that they could do to succeed.  Just having a Facebook or Twitter page is not enough. These sites need to be managed and constantly promoted.

Technology entrepreneur Alex Zhardanovsky was recently interviewed by Fox News about ways businesses can improve their online presence. He explained that Facebook can be used like a newsletter.  He stated, “The nice thing about Facebook is that if you spend money building a Facebook page, you have an audience that does not go away.” This gives businesses an advantage of the old style of having people click on a link and then closing a page where they may never return again.

Facebook allows for more of a conversation where businesses can reach customers on a consistent basis.  The best part is it is a free way to build a relationship with people that may later become paying customers. Facebook Fan pages are a very important thing for business to create.  Businesses can post interesting content so that people will want to interact on that page.  Facebook also allows companies to target specific demographics.

Zhardanovsky recommends using a company called AlphaBoost to help companies build better advertising.  This site allows potential advertisers see how the competition’s ads are performing.  They can see the likes, clicks and views of the competition’s ad. The thought process is that if the business is similar, they will receive a similar reaction to a comparable ad.  He explained that once companies get the “likes” from posting a similar ad, then that is when they can differentiate their business from the competition.

To hear more tips about Twitter and other social media platforms, check out the video interview by clicking here:  Small Biz Tips from Top Tech Entrepreneur

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Sheldon Cooper is in an EQ Stupor

 

The Big Bang Theories’ Sheldon Cooper is a classic example of why it is important to have a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). In the TV sitcom, Sheldon demonstrates what it is like to have a high IQ without a corresponding high EQ.  Daniel Goleman wrote about why this may be problematic in his book Emotional Intelligence:  Why it can Matter More than IQ.

Sheldon is a very intelligent human being. This is something that he constantly points out to nearly everyone he meets.  However, his high IQ is not tempered with interpersonal skills. Having strong intrapersonal and interpersonal skills are an important part of having a well-developed EQ.   Sheldon may be an over-exaggeration of someone that lacks these skills, but we have all met book-smart people who just do not seem to understand how to interact with others.

Some companies’ yearly performance reviews may consider how employees demonstrate  “concern for impact”.  In other words, the company want employees to be aware of how they came across to other people.  Any employee that has to deal with other people on a daily basis must learn to see themselves as other see them. What may seem as perfectly acceptable behavior to an individual may come across as offensive to someone else.  Companies are placing more importance on developing individuals’ EQ levels and hiring people that have already developed interpersonal skills.

Sheldon is almost robotic in his lack of people skills.  He does things because he has been taught that “it is the social convention” to do so.  For people who see any part of their personality in the Sheldon character, I recommend reading Goleman’s book.  I also think that it is important to read books about how to improve EQ levels.  There are some sites on the Internet that help people improve emotional intelligence.  Check out the following links:

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10 Top Links to Explain Social CRM

 

Organizations use technology to keep track of customers’ information.  The hope is to build relationships with current and potential customers.  This is referred to as customer relationship management or CRM.  Social media has changed the way companies handle customer relationships.  The following is a compilation of some of the top sources that I have found regarding how social media has impacted CRM:

  1. How Social Media CRM Affects ROI
  2. Don’t Cold Call – Social Call
  3. Facebook is the Future of CRM
  4. Search Engine Marketing:  Effects on CRM and Online Exposure
  5. How Social Media is Changing CRM
  6. Connection Between Social Networks and Cloud Computing
  7. The Impact of Social Media on CRM
  8. Social Network Management Enhances Customer Relationship
  9. How QR Codes Affect Cloud CRM
  10. Empirical Study of Social Network Effects on CRM

As social networking changes and grows, organizations must keep up with those changes in order to remain competitive.  The company that does not create a Facebook page or is not on Twitter, may lose out to companies that have taken advantage of these sites.  There are unique ways to utilize these social networks.  British Airways uses online surveys for customer satisfaction.  Burberry launched a fragrance with Facebook, Salesforce.com and Twitter.

To find out more about social networking and CRM, check out a video by Salesforce.com titled:   What is Social CRM.  Paul Greenberg defines Social CRM as, “a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, process, and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment.  Social CRM is the company’s response to customers’ ownership of the conversation.”

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Self-Publishing with CreateSpace

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  I am interested in self-publishing a book.  Can you tell me about your experience with self-publishing and things you have done to market your books?

That is a good question and one that I often receive.  Check out my previous posting:  How to Publish or Self-Publish Your Book.  I used Createspace for self-publishing.  I had a great experience with them. They are affiliated with Amazon.  The site offers different options based on authors’ needs.  Some of those options included:

  • Do-it-yourself tools to design interiors and covers
  • Comprehensive design and editing
  • Expanded distribution options

I found that the company was very responsive to my questions.  They took my design ideas and gave me a couple of covers to choose from based on my input.

Createspace is not limited to book publishing. They also work with musicians and filmmakers.

Once your book is published, and available on Amazon, you will then have the ability to create an Amazon author page.  That author page can incorporate links from your blog. Authors also have the option of making their books available on Amazon’s Europe-based site.

There are plenty of books that can help increase your sales on Amazon’s site.  One book that I thought was pretty useful was: Aiming at Amazon.

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Facebook Advertising Appeal

When a company like Facebook goes IPO, there is a lot of discussion about future potential for income.  One area where Facebook may increase revenue is through advertising.  Facebook took a big hit this week when GM killed a $10 million advertising campaign deal. GM claimed that Facebook ads were ineffective.  DailyFinance.com reported, “Click-through rates are much lower on Facebook than they are on the internet generally, or on Google (Facebook: 0.051%, Google: 0.4%, Average: 0.1%)”

One way for an ad to be effective is for it to reach the target audience.  Understanding a company’s target demographic is important.

According to Statista, “This statistic shows the age distribution of Facebook users in the United States as of April 2012. During that period of time, the majority of local Facebook users were between 18 and 24 years old. Furthermore, the most popular Facebook activities of U.S. users were posting on walls and checking the internal newsfeed.”

According to Facebook’s advertising Q&A area, there are some limitations regarding how advertisers may reach a specific demographic.  Other than age and birthday-specific advertising, Facebook targets based on location, interest, education and connection advertising.  This differs from Google that allows targeting by interest, keywords, remarketing, location and demographics.

BusinessInsider explained the difference between advertising on Facebook vs. Google in terms of reach and revenue.  “Total reach for Facebook is 51% of all internet users.  Total reach for Google is 90% of all internet users.  First quarter revenue for Facebook is $1.06 billion, down 6.5 percent year on year and down 32 percent sequentially.  First quarter revenue for Google is $2.09 billion, up 1 percent year on year and up 0.7 percent sequentially.”

Facebook is hoping to use friendships to sell products and brands.  Check out the following video to find out more about this and the importance of geofencing.  According to Amos Content Group, “A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a real area as in within a block of a restaurant. Marketers can use this location-based service to target a passersby who has opted in to send deals or information to smartphones.”  Facebook’s friendship-based approach could influence geofencing.

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Difference between Feasibility Study and Business Plan

 

Entrepreneurs face many challenges when creating a new venture.  Although the business plan is one of the most well-known documents, the feasibility study may be just as important.  Before the entrepreneur can seek funding, he or she must demonstrate that the idea is truly a good one.

Rochester.edu explained that a feasibility study, “can be defined as a controlled process for identifying problems and opportunities, determining objectives, describing situations, defining successful outcomes, and assessing the range of costs and benefits associated with several alternatives for solving a problem.”

In order to create a feasibility study, entrepreneurs need to define dimensions of business viability including:  market viability, technical viability, business model viability, management model viability, economic and financial model viability, and exit strategy viability.

A good outline for a feasibility study includes:

  • Introduction
  • Product or Service
  • Technology
  • Market Environment
  • Competition
  • Industry
  • Business Model
  • Market and Sales Strategy
  • Production Operations Requirements
  • Management and Personnel Requirements
  • Regulations and Environmental Issues
  • Critical Risk Factors
  • Financial Predictions Including:  Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, Break Even Analysis, and Capital Requirements
  • Conclusion

A feasibility study is not the same thing as a business plan.  The feasibility study would be completed prior to the business plan.  The feasibility study helps determine whether an idea or business is a viable option.  The business plan is developed after the business opportunity is created.  StrategicBusinessTeam.com explained, “A feasibility study is carried out with the aim of finding out the workability and profitability of a business venture. Before anything is invested in a new business venture, a feasibility study is carried out to know if the business venture is worth the time, effort and resources. A feasibility study is filled with calculations, analysis and estimated projections while a business plan is made up of mostly tactics and strategies to be implemented in other to grow the business.”

While it may seem the feasibility study is similar in many ways to the business plan, it is important to keep in mind that the feasibility study is developed prior to the venture.  StrategicBusinessStream pointed out that “a feasibility study can readily be converted to a business plan.”  It’s important to think of the business plan in terms of growth and sustainability and the feasibility study in terms of idea viability.

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Euphemisms, Metaphors, Clichés, Oxymorons and More

If you do not know the definition of some of the words in this title, you are not alone.  Although many of these things are used in every day conversation, many people may look puzzled if you ask them to define them.

 

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Big Business Embracing Entrepreneurial Thinking

 

Wal-Mart recently inspired an unusual entrepreneurial competition. Inventors could submit product ideas, with the hope of having their product available on the stores’ shelves.  Wal-Mart is not the first company to recognize the importance of fostering creativity in unusual ways. In college-level innovation and entrepreneurship courses, one of the things students learn is that organizations place a high value on entrepreneurial thinking.

Wal-Mart initially created the entrepreneurial contest  to create buzz in social media.  The popularity of the promotion led to some creative ideas by inventors who sought attention for their creations. The Wall Street Journal reported that the winner would have the opportunity to sell on Wal-Mart.com as well as in the physical stores.

The idea of organizations recognizing the importance of entrepreneurial talents is becoming more popular.  Check out some of the following articles that demonstrate the value of entrepreneurship in the modern workplac

  1. Forbes: A Growing Startup Should Hire Only Entrepreneurs
  2. Bloomberg:  Need Innovation? Hire an Entrepreneur
  3. Economic Times:  Top IT Companies Hiring Failed Entrepreneurs
  4. Google Hires Digg Entrepreneur
  5. Andrew Hamilton: Large Companies and Entrepreneurs Can Work Well Together
  6. Companies Hiring Entrepreneurs for Innovation
  7. UC Will Hire Entrepreneur to Set up Companies
  8. Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Large Companies
  9. Leveraging Dynamics Between Large Companies and Entrepreneurs
  10. Entrepreneurs Organization

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Entrepreneurs: Funding Options from Kickstarter

 

Entrepreneurs often find that one of the hardest parts of realizing their dream is to obtain financing.  Some have tried microlending sites like Kiva.org.  Others have discovered a new lending platform called Kickstarter.  The site’s tagline is “a new way to fund and follow creativity.”

Kickstarter describes its site as the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.  This unique site allows entrepreneurs to keep ownership and control over their work while tens of thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to help finance their creative ideas.  The idea must reach its funding goal or no money changes hands.  Entrepreneurs that receive their anticipated funds, can test concepts without risk.

Kickstarter’s Blog offers advice to those interested in creating a new project. The site allows for people to browse current ideas or to create their own.  To begin a new project dedicated to film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and more, creators can check out Kickstarter school.

Once a project is listed on the site, it displays timeline and pledge information including:  Percent Funded, Amount Pledged, Number of Days Left to Receive Funds.  The picture displayed below demonstrates some examples listed on Kickstarter’s site.  On the site’s curated page, it lists “projects curated by some of the world’s foremost creative communities.” The site also allows users to view projects by staff picks, most popular, recently launched, ending soon, small projects, most funded, as well as by category and location.

 

For additional help with the entrepreneurial process, check out the Top 30 Links for the Successful Entrepreneur.  

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Top Resources for Writing College Papers

Please review the following video and articles for help with formatting, APA, grammar and other writing issues.  To return to Dr. Diane Hamilton’s blog, click here. For updates on help with writing, bookmark the following page:  Dr. Diane’s Writing Help

Top Entrepreneurial Topics and Value of SBA

 

Are entrepreneurs made or born?  That is just one of the topics addressed in The Wall Street Journal’s report about Entrepreneurs and the Small Business Administration.  The Small Business Administration is one of the first sources my entrepreneurial students consider when asked where they would obtain funds for their venture. Check out some very interesting debates about six small-business issues:

The article about whether entrepreneurs are made or born is something that is discussed in several of my courses.  The above graphic demonstrates some of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.  This discussion creates an interesting debate considering some very talented entrepreneurs dropped out of school.  However, as noted in this article, there is a lot to be gained from education as well as from real life experience.

For more comprehensive information about how to be a successful entrepreneur, check out:  Top 30 Links for the Successful Entrepreneur.

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A Day in the Life of an Online Professor

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane Question:  I noticed you work for a lot of universities.  I’m considering working for several universities as well and I am curious what is your typical day like?

Answer:  My days vary, based on how many classes I teach.  I like to teach between 10-15 courses at a time.  I also serve as chair for 10 doctoral students and work on 5-10 doctoral committees.  Additionally I take courses to keep up with technology, education, etc. A typical day usually includes about 8-9 hours of grading papers, providing feedback, responding to discussions/emails, guiding doctoral students with dissertations, and developing curriculum.

I usually look at one school’s information at a time. However, I may have several school sites open at once, if my computer or the site is running slowly.  It helps that schools have different due dates for assignments.  For example, one school may require a “deliverable” or an assignment to be due on Mondays.  Another may have assignments due on Fridays, etc.  Usually it works out that all of the big assignments are spread out over the week.  However, most of them have discussions going on that I respond to on a daily basis. I will go to a school’s site to handle all email, questions, discussion responses, and grade any submitted assignments.  I do the same for the next school, and so on, until I have responded to every single item.  I do not stop working until everything is graded.   Most schools allow instructors a week to grade papers. I do not like to make students wait. If someone has submitted an assignment, I grade it as soon as I log on that day.

On weekends, less homework seems to be assigned, so I work less hours.  I probably work around 3-4 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays.  I do not usually take any days off, but that is not required. Schools usually require 5 or 6 days of work per week.  The nice thing about working as an adjunct is that you can decide how many courses you can handle. You can start off  with just a few and add more if you find you have the time.

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Pharmaceutical Job Candidates: Stand Out With CMR

 

The pharmaceutical job market is extremely competitive.  One way for potential applicants to stand out from the crowd is to become a Certified Medical Representative (CMR).  The Certified Medical Representative Institute has recently launched a pre-hire program, designed for someone interested in entering the biopharmaceutical arena. The program is designed to provide basic knowledge that would help make someone a better candidate or provide deeper knowledge to enhance their abilities in a potential position.

When I obtained my CMR, I found that the training was excellent.  Adding the CMR designation to my business card also demonstrated that I had received training that went above and beyond the industry standard.

CMR’s latest program covers the following topics:

The Biopharmaceutical Industry

  • Overview of the Drug Development Process
  • Promotion and Advertising in Pharmaceuticals

The Sales Environment

  • The Evolution of Managed Care
  • Healthcare Insurance Plans and Healthcare Financiers

The Science of Medicine

  • Systems of the Body
  • Evaluation of Disease
  • Medical Terminology

The Science of Pharmacology

  • Basic Principles of Drug Actions
  • Classification of Pharmaceutical Products

The Biopharmaceutical Representative’s Job

  • The Role of the Biopharmaceutical Representative
  • Elements of Good Communication
  • The Business Planning Process

For more information, check out the CMR Institute.

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Top 25 Links to Change Your Body, Career and More

Top 30 Links for the Successful Entrepreneur

 

The following list contains the most popular articles used as supplements in my entrepreneurial courses.  Click on the title name to be directed to the article.

  1. Ten Entrepreneurs Who Hit It Big Before Turning 35
  2. Top 10 Companies Code of Ethics and Conduct
  3. Top 10 Company Mission Statements
  4. Famous Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big With Humble Beginnings
  5. Researching Apple: Top 10 Most Useful Links
  6. Value of Top Companies   
  7. The Top 10 Most Misunderstood Entrepreneurial Terms
  8. Top Five Things to Know to be a Successful Entrepreneur
  9. 50 Famous People Who Failed Before They Became Successful
  10. Top 50 Venture Funded Companies   
  11. Top 5 Networking Tips for Small Businesses
  12. Time for a New Career? Change the Daily Grind to a Job of Your Dreams
  13. 50 Excellent Lectures for the Small Business Owner
  14. An Entrepreneur’s Startup Business Model Checklist
  15. Importance of Being Proactive vs. Reactive
  16. Important Terminology for Entrepreneurs
  17. Chief Officer Acronyms Explained
  18. Top 20 TED Talks Not to be Missed
  19. Companies Rewarding Employees for Entrepreneurial Ideas
  20. Increasing Motivation:  Right Brain vs. Left Brain
  21. Women Becoming Successful Entrepreneurs
  22. Most Inspiring Entrepreneurial Women
  23. Capitalizing on Manic Depression
  24. What Happens When Genius Leaders Pass the Torch
  25. New Businesses Not Getting Loan Approval
  26. Serial Entrepreneurs Share Words of Wisdom
  27. 10 Famous Product Failures
  28. Microlending:  Funds for Small Businesses
  29. Brand Awareness:  The Importance of Facebook
  30. Top 25 Links to Change Your Body, Career and More

What is Socialnomics?

 

In Erik Qualman’s 2010 book Socialnomics, he described how socialnomics exists “where consumers and the societies they create online have a profound influence on our economy and the businesses that operate within it.”

Social media is the new word of mouth.  Now that individuals look online to find out information about products from their peers, marketing has taken a new turn. Companies must create a social networking presence in order to survive.

Click here to see some examples of socialnomics in action.

The following video gives some interesting statistics about the social media revolution.

 

Checklist for Writing the Perfect College Paper

Professors may assume that students understand the basics when it comes to writing college research papers. In reality, many students are frustrated by all of the requirements.  There are not a lot of easy checklists that put all of the requirements into one location. The following checklist should be used as a helpful guide to help college students write a well-researched and properly presented paper.

Write in introduction/body/conclusion format

  • Introduction – The first paragraph introduces what will be included in the paper.  It is a good idea to have the first sentence of the first paragraph include a hook to interest the reader.  Students should list a few sentences that summarize the main topics that will be addressed in the paper.  In this example, assume that three things will be covered based on the assignment requirements. End the introductory paragraph with the thesis statement.
  • Body – The body is where the three things, required for the assignment, are addressed. Students should start each paragraph with a topic sentence. Students should write a few sentences about that topic.  Students should end that paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads into the next topic that will be addressed in the following paragraph.  This process should be completed for all paragraphs until the last paragraph.
  • Conclusion – The last paragraph may begin with something like, “In conclusion”.  This last paragraph will sum up the three topics addressed. The last sentence should restate the thesis statement listed in the introduction, and end with some sort of final prediction or conclusion.

Write in complete paragraphs – Paragraphs should ideally contain between 4-8 sentences.  Students often make the mistake of writing in incomplete paragraphs or overly long paragraphs.  Click here for more information about paragraph structure.

Avoid run-on sentences – Sentences should not be overly complex.  Students should check how many times the word “and” is used.  This may signal a run-on sentence.

Write in APA format – Set up papers that include a title page, double-spacing, indented paragraphs, page numbers, correctly cited sources, etc. per APA.

Research the paper through the school’s library – Students often make the mistake of researching through the use of Google or other popular search engines.  Students may also make the mistake of relying on sources that are less than scholarly. Sites like Wikipedia may offer some good information but they are not considered reliable or scholarly sources for research papers.  Students should use the school’s search engine, located in the online library.  Students should click the box that searches for scholarly, peer-reviewed journals to ensure the sources are appropriate.

Cite consistently and correctly throughout the paper – Students often make the mistake of thinking they are story-telling when they should be demonstrating research.  Students should get into the habit of paraphrasing rather than listing direct quotations.  Students should avoid patchworking.  Students should not make the mistake of listing references without citations. This is a common mistake.  Research papers require both citations AND references.  Students should also not make the mistake of simply ending a paraphrased paragraph with (author last name, year) to cite all information covered in the paragraph. This is also a common mistake and can be considered plagiarism.  Every sentence of paraphrased work requires the author and year information.  Click here for information about how to cite.

Submit the paper to TurnItIn – Many schools offer TurnItIn’s plagiarism checker.  This is an excellent tool that is helpful to both the students and the schools. Students should get in the habit of submitting his or her papers through this software program to insure that they are not inadvertently plagiarizing information.

Check narrative mode – Many courses do not allow students to write in first person.  If this is the case, students should not refer to themselves.  Students should look for words like I, we, us, me.  These words should not be included if the paper does not allow first person.

Check Word document format – Students often overlook the settings in the Word document.  Students should be sure that the font, margins and settings are correctly set to APA requirements.

Check spelling and other miscellaneous issues – Students should read the final draft more than once. Even if everything seemed OK in the paper, it is a good idea, for students to read it several times to look for small errors.  Students should check for spacing issues.  Students should also check that there are two spaces after periods per APA.  Students should spell-check the document to be sure all spelling issues are resolved.

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Importance of Being Proactive vs. Reactive

Many good foresight or business courses teach students to be proactive vs. reactive to change.  Anyone who has read The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People will tell you that the very first habit Covey lists is to be proactive. Covey explained that to be proactive “means more than merely taking initiative.  It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives.  Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.”

When a person is in control of an expected or anticipated occurrence, they have taken proactive measures.  When a person is reactive, they are responding to something that they had yet to have anticipated.

In leadership courses, they often give examples of a proactive vs. a reactive leader.  The following chart gives an example of the different mindset of these two styles of leaders. Click on the picture for more information.

Carol Shultz’s article Proactive vs. Reactive Approaches to Your Business and Talent explained two cases that demonstrated how reactive companies lost employees for different reasons, and the associated costs.

There are a number of theoretical models for change that include the importance of being proactive.  Some of these include:

To read more about these and other models for change, click here.

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Top 5 Secrets for Online Student Success

Online education is growing at a pace that far exceeds general education enrollment.  Because of the popularity of online learning, many traditional universities are offering online courses.  Forbes recently reported that MIT will soon offer free education for everyone. With all of the online options available, students may be confused as to where to go for helpful information.  There are plenty of sites available to help online students find schools, locate loans and even determine majors.  What is not as readily available is information about how to be a successful online student once he or she is enrolled.

The following is the top 5 list of things that can help the new online student succeed once they have already chosen their school and major.  Click on the blue links for more information about each topic:

  1. Learn Goal Setting – Read about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.  The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant (sometimes also Results-Based), and Timely (or Time-Bound).  Students should set S.M.A.R.T. education goals. Those that neglect to do this may find that it takes them longer to graduate, while they waste time and money.
  2. Learn Tools Offered – Most online universities offer some extremely helpful writing, editing and plagiarism-checking tools.  The school’s online site may also have helpful tutorials to explain how to use the software (also known as the platform) that delivers the classroom information.  Learning how to navigate in the online classroom may take a little time.  However, after taking the first class, many students feel more confident in their navigating abilities.
  3. Use the School’s Library – Students may forget that their university has an online library.  It is important that students do not get in the habit of searching for information using Google, Yahoo! and other similar engines. A well-written paper is supported by peer-reviewed articles.  These may be easily found using the school’s search engines located in their online library.
  4. Learn APA – APA stands for American Psychological Association.  For college students, APA refers to the format in which papers should be written.  While APA may seem daunting to the new learner, there are some very useful examples of APA papers online that can help explain the requirements.
  5. Learn How to Cite – Professors often require students to cite research in his or her papers.  Most often they must cite in APA format.  There are some helpful sites to help students learn how to cite correctly.  Students must also learn how to paraphrase, include in-text citations and avoid plagiarism.

Click here for more useful tips about how to be a successful online college student.

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Words to Capitalize in a Title

 

Bloggers and other writers may experience confusion as to which words should be capitalized in a title of an article.  I sometimes capitalize all words so that I do not have to look up the rules.  But it is good form to learn how to write correctly.  The following rules apply to capitalizing titles:

  • Always capitalize the first as last words of the title as well as verbs, adverbs, adjectives, nouns and pronouns.
  • Consistently capitalize or do not capitalize conjunctions (examples:  but, for, and) or prepositions (examples: words that show a relationship between the noun/pronounce with another word – example:  from, over, around, about, before, behind) with five or more letters.  Older rules required no capitalization and newer rules require capitalization if words contain five letters or more. Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.
  • Do not capitalize articles (example: a, an, the), prepositions (see examples above), conjunctions (see examples above) with four letters or fewer, and the particle “to” used with an infinitive (example: to do; to be).  Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.

 

Never have your title all in CAPITALIZED LETTERS because this is not only incorrect, it is considered yelling.

 

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Successful Students Use Plagiarism and Editing Programs

 

Students who do not use their school’s library writing centers are missing important, helpful information, and their grades may be suffering because of this.  Online universities offer some very useful tools that can help students to edit their papers, locate scholarly journals, and even double-check for plagiarism issues.  Some of the programs available to students include professional editing software like WritePoint, a database search engine like Proquest, and a plagiarism checker like TurnItIn.  Some schools may use different programs other than WritePoint or TurnItIn, but the programs function similarly.  Students should check their online library for availability of specific writing tools.

The successful student will do their research through the school’s library database search engines.  Once they have written their paper, and have double-checked that they have met all of the teacher’s requirements, they will submit it to the editing software (if available) and the plagiarism checker (required by many schools).  The following gives an explanation of how these three programs work:

  • Professional Editing Software – Example: WritePoint is a program that inserts comments directly into the student’s paper just like a professional editor.  The program will highlight grammar and spelling issues as well as other formatting issues including:  Capitalization issues, clichés, wording choices, use of second person, subject/verb agreement, weak or redundant wording, improper punctuation or hyphenation, and subject/pronoun disagreement.  The student will receive their paper back with comments. At this point, the student can make the appropriate suggested changes and then submit their paper as assigned.  This helps teach the student how to edit their own papers and dramatically improves their ability to get a higher grade.  This also allows professors to focus on the student’s content.  Not all schools offer editing software.

 

  • Database Search Engine – Example: Proquest is a program that offers over 30 databases of information including:  Dissertations, Newspapers and scholarly journals.  For students doing research that requires peer-reviewed scholarly sources, this can be a very helpful tool.  Students should use their school’s library search engine rather than researching through sites like Google or Yahoo!

 

 

  • Plagiarism Checker – Example: TurnItIn is the leading program that checks for plagiarism issues.  The program carries over 150 million archived papers.  There are a variety of websites where students can purchase papers.  Schools are very aware of these sites and programs like TurnItIn will catch these papers.  Students should be aware that professors will submit their papers to TurnItIn and will catch them if they try to submit work that is not their own.

Students may have had some initial training regarding these programs when they first entered school.  However, with all of the other things they had to learn at the time, many may have forgotten the importance of these tools. Students with questions about what his or her school offers, should ask their guidance counselor.

The top articles on this site that are helpful to a student’s success include:

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How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

 

Some professors require that students avoid direct quotations within their writing.  One reason for this is that students may have a tendency to rely too much on what others have written.  They may take large amounts of directed quoted material and copy and paste it into their writing in order to meet page or word requirements.  This is not acceptable.

Students must still cite to explain where they obtained their research.  To cite correctly, students should get into the habit of paraphrasing. In this way, students give the original author credit for their work by citing the source of the information without quoting it word for word.  Citing means acknowledging where they obtained the information.  A student must be careful not to paraphrase everything they write.  The student should not neglect to include their own analysis.  Duke University provides useful information about avoiding patchworking and paraphrasing in APA style.

Paraphrasing occurs when the writer take someone else’s thoughts and information and restates it into his or her own words.  Think of it as more of a restatement than a summary. Owl Purdue explained that it is better than quoting word for word because it eliminates the temptation to cite too heavily.  Owl Purdue’s Paraphrase:  Write in Your Own Words is an excellent learning tool and it includes 6 Steps to Effective Paraphrasing.

To learn how to cite correctly, check out a helpful link from plagiarism.com that explains how to paraphrase properly.  For more examples of how to paraphrase, check out:  Examples of how to paraphrase without plagiarizing.  The Writer’s Handbook also gives some helpful tips about methods of paraphrasing and how to paraphrase difficult texts.

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Learn Terminology Before Changing Careers

In the current economy, many people have discovered that they must change careers or reinvent themselves in order to keep their current positions.  Some are entering into fields that contain jargon with which they are unfamiliar.  In the article 13 Words Every Sales Training Manager Should Know the author defined words and phrases like:  knowledge transfer, sales enablement, funnel, pipeline and more.  Those entering the field of sales and are unfamiliar with those terms, may feel frustrated and left out of the information loop. 

For those considering a new career, here are some important links to help learn terminology and avoid some embarrassing mistakes:

  1. Terminology Used in Sales
  2. Terminology Used in Business and Entrepreneurship
  3. Terminology Used in Technology
  4. Terminology Used in Online and Education
  5. Terminology Used in Social Networking Sites Like Twitter
  6. Vocabulary Words Adults Should Know
  7. Company Executive Title Explained
  8. Most Misunderstood Entrepreneurial Words
  9. Top Grammar Mistakes
  10. Social Media Writing Mistakes

To find out more about career reinvention click here.

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Impact of Boomers Working Past Retirement Years

 

As people are living longer and the age for receiving social security payments is extended, baby boomers have found that they are working well into what used to be considered retirement years.  USA Today reported, “The Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com poll found a baby boom generation planning to work into retirement years — with 73% planning to work past retirement, up from 67% this spring. The poll involved online interviews with 1,095 baby boomers.” According to the Examiner, “boomers are likely going to work five to 10 years longer before retiring.”

There are currently 77 million baby boomers.  This group has found it difficult to retire because “41% of boomers said they are expecting to have to scale back their lifestyle in some way in retirement and 31% believe they will struggle financially.”

Having a lot of baby boomers in the workplace has had an impact on the post-boomer generations.  In the article Millennials Hoping for Boomers to Retire, it was noted that many people who used to retire in their 60s are continuing to work, making it harder for Millennials to find employment.

There are currently four generations coexisting in the workplace. These 4 generations include:

World War II Generation (aka depression babies) – Those born prior to 1945

Baby Boomers – Those born 1946 to 1964

Generation X – Those born 1965 to 1982

Generation Y (aka the Millennials) – Those born after 1982

Baby Boomers represent the largest segment of the American work force.  However, millennials will be replacing the baby boomer group soon.  According to Harvard Business Review /HBR.org, “The makeup of the global workforce is undergoing a seismic shift: In four years Millennials—the people born between 1977 and 1997—will account for nearly half the employees in the world. In some companies, they already constitute a majority.”

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Top 10 Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big Before Turning 35

 

There was a time when it was unusual to hear about an entrepreneur becoming successful at a very young age.  With the technology boom, the story is becoming more commonplace.  The following list contains the top 10 entrepreneurs whose dreams came to fruition and made them very rich before they hit the ripe old age of 35.

  1. Apple – Creators:  Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.  Apple was established in 1976, the year Steve Jobs turned 21 and Steve Wozniak turned 26.
  2. Amazon – Creator:  Jeff Bezos.  Amazon was founded in 1994, the year Jeff Bezos turned 30.
  3. Disney – Creator:  Walt Disney.  Disney was founded in 1923, the year Walt Disney turned 22.
  4. Facebook – Creators:  Mark Zuckerburg and his college roommates Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Facebook was launched in 2004, the year that Mark Zuckerburg turned 20.
  5. Google – Creators:  Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  Google was incorporated in 1998 the year that Larry Page and Sergey Brin turned 25.  Google’s IPO was in August of 2004, the year the men turned just 31.
  6. Groupon– Creator:  Andrew Mason.  Groupon was created in 2008, the year Mason turned 29.
  7. LinkedIn – Creators:  Reid Hoffman and founders from PayPal.  LinkedIn was founded in late 2002 the year that Hoffman turned 35.
  8. Microsoft – Creators:  Bill Gates and Paul Allen.  Microsoft was established in 1975, the year Bill Gates turned 20 and Paul Allen turned 22.
  9. Twitter – Creator:  Jack Dorsey.  Twitter was created in 2006, the year Dorsey turned 30.
  10. Yahoo! – Creators: Jerry Yang and David Filo.  Yahoo! was incorporated in 1995, the year that Jerry Yang turned 27 and David Filo turned 29.

Click on the company names above to find out more details and top stories about these unique companies.

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Companies Rewarding Employees for Entrepreneurial Ideas

 

Gone are the old days of having a suggestion box at work.  Today’s modern company has set up some much more sophisticated ways of obtaining knowledge and creative ideas from their employees.  The following list contains some useful tools that employers have utilized that have even replaced their need to go to outside consulting firms:

  • Innovative Management Programs – Sites like Brainbank, InnoCentive and Spigit are just a few of the popular sites that companies use to allow employees to submit and vote on ideas.
  • Idea-Management Websites –  PriceWaterhouseCoopers created a company site to gather employees’ input about cost cutting, improving customer service and other ways to improve revenue.  These sites can be very successful.  IdeasAmerica, an association for suggestion administration, surveyed customers and found that ideas submitted by employees saved over $110 million or an average of $1256 per idea.
  • Set up KiosksBruce Power is one of many companies who have set up idea kiosks.  Resembling ATMs, these kiosks are easily accessible and allow employees to vote on ideas.
  • Create Financial IncentivesCompanies may give rewards for employees’ ideas that result in cost savings.  They may receive financial incentives or points to use toward rewards.
  • Set Up Idea ChallengesAllstate created an online challenge for its employees to come up with some good ideas about how to create their company app.

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Unusual Uses for QR Codes in the Classroom and Job Market

 

QR codes are those little barcode looking squares that are popping up everywhere.  They are an excellent marketing tool.  They have some unique applications as well.  The article 50 Great Ways to Use QR Codes in the College Classroom lists some unusual uses such as:

  • Using QR codes on name plates to find instructor office hours
  • Adding QR codes to the syllabus to link to classroom calendar
  • Adding to class announcements to create buzz for upcoming events
  • Linking QR codes to lectures, videos or answers to commonly asked questions
  • Linking QR codes to digital portfolios

These are just some of the unique classroom uses.  Click on the link above to read all 50 uses.

For more articles about using QR Codes check out:

Stand Out In Job Market with Mini Resume Cards

Combining a resume with a business card in a smart, easy to read fashion, is a great way to capture a future employer’s attention.  ResuMiniMe is a site that has done a nice job of creating such a card.  In just minutes, job-seekers can create a traditional-sized business card that promotes their strengths while serving as a nice ice-breaker for networking opportunities.  Prices start at $90 for 1000 cards.  Gift packages are available.  A free profile on LinkedIn is required. 

They offer two style choices for the back of the card.  A traditional standard style that lists education and experience is one option.  Also offered is the option to include a QR code on the back.  For more information about using QR codes to find a job, click here. 

The following are examples of the cards that can be created on this site.  The back of the card is shown vertically here for easy readability.

Front (although not listed here, a phone number may be included):

Back Traditional:

Back QR Code Version:

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Top 10 Most Misunderstood Entrepreneurial Start-up Words

 

Some of the most interesting companies right now are considering going IPO?  If you are confused about what that means, you are not alone.  I find that a lot of my students would enjoy reading articles about new start-up companies but avoid them due to the writer’s use of confusing terminology.  Having taught entrepreneurship for many years, I have come up with a list of some of the most misunderstood words that have to deal with entrepreneurs and start-up companies to make things a little easier to understand.  Click on the links provided below for more information about the definition of the term:

  1. Angel Investors – Investors getting startup from self-funded stage to obtaining venture capital.
  2. Bridge Loan – a short-term way to obtain a loan that meets immediate needs for capital.
  3. IPO – Initial Public Offering – when a private company offers stock and becomes a public company.
  4. Limit Liability Company or LLC – legal form of a company providing limited liability.
  5. Me-Too Product – when competitors’ products are basically indistinguishable for yours.
  6. Portfolio – Holdings of a private investor or institution.
  7. Seed-Funded – investment to start a business until the business can fund itself.
  8. Start-up – Differing opinions on this . . . Check out the article:  How do you define a startup?
  9. Valuation – Company’s market worth.
  10. Venture Capital – Money or capital provided to start a business.  Those providing money may be referred to as Venture Capitalists.

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Women Becoming More Successful Than Men

 

Women are passing men in their abilities to get a degree, handle families and garner success at work.  As men are falling behind, women are making huge strides.  CNN reported that, “For the first time in history, women are better educated, more ambitious and arguably more successful than men.”

Over half of college degrees are now being awarded to women. “In 1970, men earned 60% of all college degrees. In 1980, the figure fell to 50%, by 2006 it was 43%. Women now surpass men in college degrees by almost three to two. Women’s earnings grew 44% in real dollars from 1970 to 2007, compared with 6% growth for men.”

Women are becoming stronger entrepreneurs as well.  Forbes recently reported:  “As of 2011, it is estimated that there are over 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Overall, women-owned firms have done better than their male counterparts over the past 14 years. The number of men-owned firms (which represent 51% of all U.S. firms) grew by only 25% between 1997 and 2011—half the rate of women-owned firms.”

A study by Barclays Wealth and Ledbury Research may have some of the answers to why women are surpassing men.  One of the reasons they found is that women are less likely to take unnecessary risks or make rash decisions.  The Huffington Post backed up this point stating, “A 2005 study by Merrill Lynch found that 35% of women held an investment too long, compared with 47% of men. More recently, in 2009, a study by the mutual fund company Vanguard involving 2.7 million personal investors concluded that during the recent financial crisis, men were more likely than women to sell shares of stocks at all-time lows, leading to bigger losses among male traders.”

Women Dominating Sales Positions

 

Women are becoming a dominant force in sales positions.  In the article 10 Most Lucrative Industries for Women it was noted, “A recent study found that women are coming to dominate certain areas of sales, a traditionally lucrative field for those who excel. In fact, the study seemed to show that women tend to have better selling skills than men, translating into substantial earnings for saleswomen.”

When women were asked what their top 10 more desired sales careers would be, they chose:

1.    Pharmaceutical Sales

2.    Biotech Sales

3.    Dental Sales

4.    Insurance Sales

5.    Healthcare Sales

6.    IT Sales

7.    Medical Sales

8.    Advertising Sales

9.    Medical Equipment Sales

10.  Real Estate Sales

This is good news for women in the current questionable economy. Monster reported, “In 2010, more employers were willing to invest in their sales forces, having some faith that customers could be cajoled into buying. In October 2010 there were 145,000 more workers employed in sales and related occupations than a year earlier.”

For additional resources about women and sales positions, check out some of the following links:

Women Turning to Cosmetic Sales

Community of Women in Professional Sales

50 Best Careers of 2011

Sales Jobs for Women Search Site

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Using Personality Assessment to Ace the Job Interview

 

Showing up to a job interview without researching the company’s background, products and future potential is an error many job applicants make.  Even those who have properly researched the company may still make the mistake of not assessing the interviewer’s needs. There are some important tips that job-seekers can utilize to ace the interview even if they are not made aware of who will interview them ahead of time.

Job candidates need to keep in mind that people like to receive information based on their personality preferences.  In an interview situation, that means that the job-seeker needs to assess the interviewer’s personality to look for clues about these preferences.

Based on the following personality types, tailor how information is delivered in the following way:

Interviewer is an Introvert (they prefer to think about what they want to say before they say it):  They may not want a lot of chit chat. Allow them to have time to ask questions and don’t talk over them.

Interviewer is an Extrovert (they tend to say what they are thinking without processing first):  Realize they require information quickly and may talk over you or end sentences for you.  If they ask a question and you need more time, simply say something like, “That is a good question; let me think about that for a moment.”  That will buy you some time to formulate your answer.

Interviewer is Direct (they prefer to get to the point and may be abrasive): Don’t hem and haw around.  Get right to the bottom line information they require.

Interviewer is Structured (they like facts and figures):  If they have charts and graphs around and ask for statistics, give them data.  They like quantifiable answers.

One way to find out more about the person doing the interview is to look around the office for clues.  Try to find things that you have in common with them.  Show an interest in the things they showcase like pictures, plaques, awards, etc.  For more information about acing the interview, read 10 Most Important Steps to Obtain a Dream Job.

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SitePal and Voki: Add Pizzazz to Your Website or Classroom

There are some fun sites that can be used to animate pictures to add pizzazz to websites or online classrooms.  One of these sites, Voki, is free and is available for non-commercial use.  For commercial use, SitePal starts at just $9.95/month.

Are you looking for a way to create content for an online classroom?  Consider adding a link to Voki.  “Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.”

Click on the picture below to see what happens if you add a link to your Voki-created file.   Be sure to hit the play button to hear the message once you get there.

 

If you are looking for a way to stand out on your website, resume, email signature line, or other form of social media, consider SitePal. “SitePal is an easy-to-use service that allows you to create a speaking avatar for your website and empower your online communication.” Click on the picture below to see that animation.

 

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Facebook Now Allows Subscriptions to Your Site

Facebook announced a new feature that will allow for people to expand their exposure on Facebook.  People can subscribe to your feed if you set it up for them to do so.  This is a useful tool for companies who have a profile but not a separate Facebook page to promote.  Without having a page set up, the profile site previously required an acceptance by the owner for people to view the content. 

With the new subscribe feature, all that has to be done to allow others to view the profile, is for the owner of the profile to look for the word subscriptions under their profile picture.  By clicking on that, they can enable others to see their updates.

 

This isn’t the only change announced by Facebook. According to TechCrunch, “In addition to Subscriptions, Facebook is also making it easier to tweak the amount and types of content that show up your News Feed. Now, when you’re viewing a user’s profile, you’ll be able to hit a button and choose from three subscription settings:

  • All updates: Everything your friend posts
  • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
  • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

You’ll also be able to choose what kinds of content you want to see (for example, you could opt to block all game-related updates from one of your friends, but keep their photo updates).”

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10 Most Important Steps to Obtain Dream Job

 

I often speak to students and career groups about how to obtain a dream job or reinvent a career.  I have listed some of the most important points from my lectures, with appropriate links to articles, to explain the process.  Be sure to click on the links listed under each step to watch videos and read the articles to get step by step instructions.

  1. Define Your Goals:  People fear making mistakes.  Although it can be argued there are no mistakes, only learning experiences, part of avoid mistakes is to have good goals.  The goals must be measurable with timeframes listed for when you wish to achieve those goals.
  2. Analyze “You” as the Product:  To get a job, you must showcase your talents by thinking of “you” as the product.  When you are networking and interviewing, you are “selling” a product and that product is you.   Be sure to analyze your online reputation.  You can be sure that companies will check on this.
  3. Create a Personal SWOT Analysis:  SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  By creating a personal SWOT analysis, you can work on capitalizing on your strengths and find solutions for any weaknesses or threats.
  4. Analyze Your Competition: When you are interviewing, you must remember there are a lot of others that are competing for the same job.  Think of those things that you bring to the table that your competition does not.  What do others have that you need to be working on in the meantime?  Have you done your research?  If an interviewer asks you the question: “Why did you pick our company?” . . . do you have a good answer?  Know the answers to difficult job interview questions.
  5. Capitalize on Personality Skills: Part of finding the right job is based on understanding your personality preferences.  Personality tests like Myers Briggs MBTI can be very helpful in leading you to the right job.  It is also important to work on developing emotional intelligence. Find out why employers are placing as much value on EQ as IQ.
  6. Analyze Jobs:  Find out what jobs pay:  One of the first steps is to find out what a job is worth.  Consider what types of jobs motivate you.  Check out top 10 ways to find a job or have a job find you.
  7. Showcase Your Talents:  Use social networking to get noticed.  Find out how you can use a simple PowerPoint presentation and Camtasia to showcase your abilities.  If you are not on LinkedIn, you should be.  Use Google Docs and LinkedIn to get noticed.  Rev up your business card by adding a QR code to it.  Avoid putting these top 10 wrong things on resumes.
  8. Ace the Interview:  Once you are able to obtain an interview, use personality skills to wow them.  Deliver information in the job interview based upon understanding introverts and extroverts.  Keep in mind the proper answer to tough interview questions.
  9. Follow up on the Interview:  Always follow up with a thank you note.  It is important to stand out from the crowd and having manners is very important.  It is important to realize that millennials have unique job expectations and may not come across as respectful at times.
  10. Use what You Have Learned to Succeed: Continue to use the things you have learned in order to obtain the job.  Don’t stop setting goals.  Stay connected through social networking in case the job doesn’t work out.

Top 10 Sources for Help with APA 6th Edition

Students often find it challenging to write papers that meet APA guidelines.  The following table demonstrates how difficult it can be just to cite correctly.

The following is a list of some of the most useful resources to help write a paper that meets APA requirements.

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab APA 6th Edition – One of the most excellent resources for all things APA, writing, punctuation, grammar, mechanics, MLA, and more . . . main Purdue site index.
  2. APA Style Lite for College Papers – Free style guide that gives excellent examples of how things should look in APA 6th edition.
  3. Sample APA Paper from Owl Purdue – Excellent example of a paper with arrows and text boxes pointing out each area of the paper and how it should look.
  4. APA 6th Edition Tutorial – Video demonstration of changes in most recent APA edition.
  5. APA 6th Edition Style Headings – Examples of the different levels of headings.
  6. Meeting APA 2 Spaces After Periods Requirement – Video of how to easily change from one space to two spaces after periods to meet 6th edition guidelines.
  7. Long Quotation Requirements – How to space longer quotations in APA 6th edition.
  8. Removing that Extra Space Between Paragraphs – Video demonstration of how to use the home tab in Word to find paragraph settings to remove any spaces from in between paragraphs.
  9. Accessing Headers and Page Numbers in Word – Video demonstration of how to set up headers and page numbers.
  10. Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes – Additional APA information, first person explanation, vocabulary, grammar, anthropomorphisms, Wikipedia, and more.

Adjunct Advantages: The Future of Education

 

Professors who work on a contracted, part-time basis are referred to as adjuncts.  There are advantages for universities that hire adjuncts rather than tenured faculty. However, many adjunct professors do not like this option.  Some refer to the way things have changed in the university system as adjunct purgatory, with low pay, few benefits and no security.

There is no shortage of articles that point out the problems with adjuncts.  In an article from MindingTheCampus, author Mark Bauerlein stated, “The practice creates a two-tier system, with tenured and tenure-track folks on one, adjuncts on the other.  Adjuncts take up most of the undergraduate teaching, enabling the others to conduct their research and handle upper-division and graduate courses, thus maintaining a grating hierarchy that damages group morale.  Also, because of their tenuous status, adjuncts can’t give students the attention they deserve and they can’t apply the rigor they should.”

These problems are more often associated with traditional campuses.  However, the future of education is headed toward more online learning.  In fact, according to Campustechnology.com, “Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years.”  In private online institutions, adjunct positions can actually be more lucrative due to the ability that faculty may teach multiple classes for multiple universities.

 

The reason there are so many negative articles about adjuncts is that in the traditional setting, they have a completely different set of issues than those in the online setting.  There are many positives that should be noted for adjuncts in online learning. Some of the positives from the universities’ perspective (online or traditional) include: Not having to offer tenure, having flexibility in course offerings and paying less money per course.

There are even more advantages for online adjuncts from the faculty’s perspective:

  • Ability to work at multiple universities
  • No driving to campuses
  • Less meetings to attend
  • No need to publish research
  • Ability to work any time of the day in asynchronous courses
  • Ability to have other jobs at the same time
  • Ability to travel and still teach without taking time off
  • Option to have some of the same benefits with some universities offering 401k, insurance and reduced tuition costs for the adjunct and their family

For those considering an adjunct online position, a site like higheredjobsis a great place to find teaching opportunities. For more information about adjunct salaries, check out SalaryBlog.org.

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What is a Backronym or Bacronym?

 

People often use the word acronym but what is a backronym?  First it may help to explain an acronym. An acronym is formed from initial letters of several words to make a specific word.  A good example would be how FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.

A backronym works backward. It is constructed so that an acronym can be formed into a specific word.  An example would be when Amber Hagerman was abducted, there was something created called an AMBER Alert.  In this case AMBER stands for America’s Missing:  Broadcast Emergency Response.

There are some more recent examples commonly used in the news.  Reporters have been using the TEA in Tea Party to stand for Taxed Enough Already.  Some older commonly used examples of using backronyms include:

Golf:  Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden

Bing:  Because It’s Not Google

AIG:  Arrogance Ignorance and Greed

One of the longest ones I’ve heard was OLDSMOBILE – Old Ladies Driving Slowly Making Others Behind Increasingly Late Everyday.

For an extensive list of backronyms, click here to check out a Businessballs article.

Anthropomorphisms: When Not to Use Them

There is a really big word that students should know, but may not.  That word is anthropomorphic.  Technically it means to give human form or attributes to something that is not human. It is popularly used in children’s books.  However, doctoral students often have their dissertations rejected for including anthropomorphisms.

Here are some examples of what an anthropomorphism looks like:

  • The study assumed that people would not be interested.
  • The computer program thinks that the results are accurate.

Both of these sentences should not be used.  The reason is that a person can “assume” but a study cannot. Animate nouns are things like a person, a researcher or a participant.  Animate nouns can make an assumption.  An inanimate noun, like a research study, cannot.  Just like an animate noun, a researcher can “think”, but an inanimate noun, a computer, cannot.

To put it more simply, think of it this way:

  • Person, Researcher, Participant = assume and think
  • Study, Computer, Inanimate Object ≠ assume and think

Social Media Presence Able to Continue Virtually After Death

Adam Astrow stated some interesting social media statistics in his recent TED.com presentation titled After Your Final Status Update. His talk was about what happens to your social media presence after you die and whether it can be saved in a virtual personality.

He cited some pretty interesting numbers for how much data is being uploaded to Youtube, Twitter and Facebook and claimed that that data could possibly be used to create a presence after one has passed away. 

He pointed out that there are already some sites and apps that can create postings for people post-mortem. There is an “If I Die” app can that can create video to be posted on Facebook after one’s death.  There is a site called 1000 Memories that states, “1000memories is a free site that celebrates the lives of people who matter most – our friends and family, past and present. We help bring the albums, scrapbooks, and photo-filled shoeboxes of our lives out of the closet and into an online, shareable space where they can be remembered and celebrated, together in one place.”

Although one may have passed on, their lives can be remembered indefinitely through the use of technology.

How to Use QR Codes on Your Resume and Business Cards

QR codes are the latest thing in marketing.  They are in the newspapers, on billboards and on just about every kind of marketing material you can imagine. Now you can utilize this amazing new technology to make your business card and/or resume stand out from the rest.  This is an innovative way to show prospective employers that you are tech savvy.  It also can redirect them to important information on your website that you cannot include in your resume. 

Here is an example of how to put one on your business card. 

Anyone with a smartphone that has an app for reading QR codes can easily point their phone at your card and find out more information about you.  If you don’t have a QR reader app on your phone, they are easy to download from sites like iTunes and they are free.  I use QR Reader for iPhone.  Once you have the app on your phone, open it, and point the phone’s camera at the square on my card.  See how it directs you to a site. 

The QR codes are simple to create.  Check out this article:  how to create your own QR codes.

Here is an example of how to include them on your resume:

 
If you used your reader to scan these codes listed here, you can see they each will send you to a different site.  You may just want to send them to your LinkedIn page or some other website that showcases your abilities.  You could create a presentation in Google Docs or on YouTube that would make you stand out from the crowd.  If you have always felt that you could get that job if only they could see you, now is your chance.  Just be careful to create quality content on the site where you direct potential employers. 

To see QR codes in action, check out this video about how QR codes are changing the way people shop:

Facebook Making People More Empathetic

Several studies have shown that online communication has facilitated friendships, honesty and sense of belonging.  New research is showing that Facebook time may actually improve people’s empathy as well. The Wall Street Journal reported that, “The more time on Facebook subjects in a recent study spent, the more empathy they said they felt online and off.”

This information may come as a surprise with the number of reported cyber bullying cases. Internet Solutions for Kids reported that 17% of 13- to 18-year-olds were bullied online in the past year. However, this is low compared to the reported 40% in-person bullying.   

Fear of dealing with social settings has led many to online platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Some newer studies have shown that this form of online communication can be helpful for those who are shy or introverted and who may normally find social settings stressful.  The WSJ article noted, “In a study of New York University students who described themselves as either socially anxious or non-anxious, participants were randomly assigned to interact in groups of three, either in-person or through an Internet chat room.  Anxious students reported greatest shyness and discomfort than non-anxious students in face-to-face groups.  In the chat room, however, they said they felt significantly less shy, more comfortable and better accepted by their peers.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) reported some results at a Washington, DC conference this year from 1,283 people aged 18-30.  This group was asked about their time spent online and its impact on how much empathy they felt toward their online and offline friends.  The participants reported “a significant amount of empathy online, and that the more time college students spent on Facebook, the more empathy they expressed online and in real life.”

How to Reinvent Your Career

Due to changes in the economy, many people have been forced to change jobs and learn how to reinvent themselves.  Sharon Simpson, aka The Reinvention Diva, contacted me recently to ask me if she could review my book How to Reinvent Your Career.  Sharon is a speaker, consultant and self-help guru who assists those that want to change habits and behaviors.  The following is the article she wrote about my book.  For more information about How to Reinvent Your Career, click here.  For The Reinvention Diva site, click here

How To Reinvent Your Career – Book Review

How to Reinvent Your Career – by Dr Diane Hamilton PhD

Dr Diane Hamilton’s book How to Reinvent Your Career is a holistic approach to finding and doing the job you love.

The first great thing I notice about this book is Dr Hamilton’s willingness to share personal experiences of how she reinvented herself (several times) to the position which she now holds.

Dr Diane Hamilton is a writer and a college professor teaching bachelor, master and doctoral-level business courses for six online universities. She kindly responded to my request to read and review her book in line with our focus here at The Reinvention Diva magazine on Career Reinvention.

The second great thing I found in her book is the systematic way she covers almost every aspect of change that would be involved in reinventing your career. There are ten chapters that cover everything from educating yourself to the right foods to eat to keep you healthy. From what to wear to your interview and taking a personality test. It is a well rounded 360º approach to the most important thing involved in change: YOU!

This book is about YOU, if you are serious about investing in your life, moving forward and learning whatever it is you need to live the life you want, I would suggest Dr Diane Hamilton’s book as an excellent place to start. And here’s why:

Dr Hamilton uses space at the end of each chapter to:

Female Career Choices That May Surprise You

On the first day of work as a pharmaceutical representative in the 80’s, I was struck by the similarity of my newly-hired peers.  There were about 10 of us that started at the same time.  Nine out of 10 of us were women.  I hadn’t given much thought as to whether women dominated in the pharmaceutical business at that time.  However, sitting at that long table full of women, most of whom had business degrees, made me realize that things were changing for women and their career choices.

Since I currently teach for many different online universities, a recent article about women and their online degree choices caught my eye.  In the article 10 Majors That Are No longer Male-Dominated, the author pointed out, “Historically, women have dominated majors like education, English and psychology, while men were more likely to study engineering, computer science or math. Although this may ring true at some schools, it isn’t the standard at every traditional or online college. More than ever, college women are opting to study traditionally male-dominated majors and are breaking enrollment records while they’re at it. As the line between male- and female-dominated academic fields continues to fade, there will be less segregation in the job market and more opportunities for both sexes.”

The article lists the following online majors as currently female-dominant:

Computer Science

Business

Engineering

Agriculture

Biological Science

Construction Management

Fire Science

Criminal Justice

Information Technology

Sports Management

For more information about the increase in women majoring in each of these areas, click here to read the full article.

Are Women Making Teams Smarter?

Harvard Business Review recently published an article about how having women on a team makes the team smarter.  Although they didn’t find a correlation between the collective intelligence of the group and the IQ of individuals within that group, they did find that if women were in the group, the collective intelligence was higher. 

The Female Factor:  The chart plots the collective intelligence scores of the 192 teams in the study against the percentage of women those teams contained. The red bars indicate the range of scores in the group of teams at each level, and the blue circles, the average. Teams with more women tended to fall above the average; teams with more men tended to fall below it.

Professors Anita Wooley (Carnegie Mellon) and Thomas Malone (MIT) gave “subjects aged 18 to 60 standard intelligence tests and assigned them randomly to teams. Each team was asked to complete several tasks—including brainstorming, decision making, and visual puzzles—and to solve one complex problem. Teams were given intelligence scores based on their performance. Though the teams that had members with higher IQs didn’t earn much higher scores, those that had more women did.”

Finding the right mix of people on a team has been a consideration many organizations have dealt with in the past.  These researchers hope to see how this information can help teams perform better in the future through changing members or incentives. 

In the past, I taught teams how to get along better through the use of the Myers Briggs MBTI personality assessment instrument.  Through understanding personalities, team members could learn about each other’s preferences for how they like to obtain information. This became more useful to the team as a whole.  In my training experience, I found that even if a team had members with high IQ’s, they needed to understand why other members of the teams did the things they did and required the information they required in the format that fit their needs.  It was important to understand the collective needs of the team in order for the team to be successful. 

With the study by Wooley and Malone, they bring up the use of their findings in understanding collective intelligence.  According to Malone, “Families, companies, and cities all have collective intelligence. But as face-to-face groups get bigger, they’re less able to take advantage of their members. That suggests size could diminish group intelligence. But we suspect that technology may allow a group to get smarter as it goes from 10 people to 50 to 500 or even 5,000. Google’s harvesting of knowledge, Wikipedia’s high-quality product with almost no centralized control—these are just the beginning. What we’re starting to ask is, How can you increase the collective intelligence of companies, or countries, or the whole world?”

Value of Top Companies

The following is a list of the estimated value of some of the top companies in 2011.  They are listed in order of highest to lowest value.

Apple – TechCrunch recently reported that Apple’s value is now worth as much as Microsoft, HP and Dell combined.  Valued at over $300 billion, Apple continues to grow.  For more specifics, click here:  Apple Value

Microsoft – Recent estimates put Microsoft’s value at about $200 billion.  Skype – Microsoft’s recent purchase assessed Skype’s value at $8.5 billion.

GoogleGoogle’s value has been estimated to be $192 billion as of January, 2011.  For more specifics on this income including Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s net income, click here:  Google ValueYoutube – Recent estimates put Youtube’s value around $1.3 billion.  Google paid $1.6 billion for Youtube in 2006.

FacebookFacebook was valued at $82.9 billion in January and that number continues to grow.

Amazon – In January, it was reported that Facebook passed Amazon’s value.  Amazon still showed a $75.2 billion worth.  For more specifics, click here:  Amazon Value

HP – Recent estimates put HP’s value at about $72.8 billion.

Dell – Recent estimates put Dell’s value at about $29.3 billion.

Groupon – Recent estimates put Groupon’s Value at as much as $25 billion.

Twitter – It is suggested that Twitter’s value is around $7.7 billion.

Linkedin – Recent estimates put LinkedIn’s value at over $4 billion.

The Most Useful Articles about How to Use Twitter

As Twitter grows and develops, so does the need to understand how to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool.  Companies and individuals that still have confusion with understanding hashtags, obtaining followers or how to remove annoying followers, should check out this list of the top Twitter articles:

  • Best Twitter Articles of 2010 – Bloggodown.com gives an exhaustive list of everything you want to know about Twitter. 
  • How to Find Hashtags on Twitter – This article explain hashtags and joining conversations on Twitter.  Hashtags are a popular way to start up a conversation about a specific topic within Twitter.  By putting the # sign before a subject, it creates a conversation that others can join.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Getting Twitter Followers – Dave Larson from Tweetsmarter.com explains the 6 ways to get Twitter followers including how to build a reputation, self-promotion, becoming a reciprocator, understanding automation, joining following groups, and avoiding spamming.    
  • Deciphering Twitter:   Twictionary Terms can be Very Intwesting – As Twitter grows in popularity, so does the number of terms that are associated with the site. Check out some of the most popularly used Twitter terms.
  • How to Block People on Twitter – One big difference between being on Twitter as compared to being on Facebook is that people can follow you without your consent.  That may lead to some situations that you find to be bothersome, including unsolicited contact or having to sift through a bombardment of tweets on your homepage. 

     According to AssociatedContent.com you can block people on Twitter by:

    • “Log into your Twitter account using your unique username and password. If you use a public computer, do not forget to mark the ‘Do not remember me on this computer option’ to protect your personal info.
    • If the user you wish to block is already following you, go to your ‘Followers’ list. Browse among your connections and click on the personal profile of the unwanted contact. Alternatively, just type the person’s Twitter name on the search box and click on enter.
    • While on the person’s profile, you will see a gear icon on the top center of the screen (next to the ‘Message’ box). Once you click on it, a drop-down menu will reveal the options ‘Mention,’ ‘Block,’ or ‘Report for spam.’
    • Click on ‘Block’ and you have successfully blocked the spammer. Moreover, a box ‘Blocked’ with a red line will appear on the user’s profile replacing the ‘Following’ box.

   What happens later if you decide you blocked someone that you would rather not block?  Check out  how to unblock Twitter followers.  

 

Milgram’s Experiment, Horrible Bosses and Dwight Shrute Co-Workers

The recently released movie, Horrible Bosses, is about three friends who have three . . . you guessed it, horrible bosses.  While it might be fun to watch Jennifer Aniston play a bad character, the movie brings up some interesting issues about authority figures and their power to affect people’s lives.

In the early 60s, a guy named Stanley Milgram did some research into the willingness of people to follow directions given by those in authority. The question Milgram contemplated was:  If you were asked to shock someone with 400 volts of electricity, would you do it just because someone in a white lab coat told you to do it as part of an experiment? You may think not, but you may be surprised.

What Milgram was looking for was how authority leads to obedience. Isn’t that kind of what happens to you at work? You’re at the mercy of your leader or manager. You do what they tell you to do, because they are your superior, and you figure you should listen. Part of what makes up your personality is the part that is willing to obey commands that may not necessarily make sense to you.

There may be a few people you’d like to shock some sense into at work. We’d like to think we’d be the test subjects that wouldn’t have pushed the button to deliver the shock to the recipients. The thing was, though, although the people thought they were delivering a shock, they weren’t delivering any voltage at all. The people who were supposedly being shocked were actors who were just pretending to be shocked.

The people Dr. Milgram used as the “shockers” in his experiments were only paid $4.50, and were found through advertisements placed in newspapers. The reason Dr. Milgram wanted to do these experiments in the first place was what he’d seen the people in Germany doing in response to Hitler’s leadership. He was interested in answering a question that had haunted him from childhood: “What psychological mechanism transformed the average, and presumably normal, citizens of Germany and its allies into people who would carry out or tolerate unimaginable acts of cruelty against their fellow citizens who were Jewish, resulting in the death of six million of them?”(Blass, 2004).

His interest in this led him to conduct experiments into obedience, and he set up a simulated shock-generator box that had a label on it that read, “SHOCK GENERATOR , TYPE ZLB,

DYSON INSTRUMENT COMPAN Y, WALTHA M, MASS OUTPUT 15

VOLT S – 450 VOLT S” (Blass, 2004, p. 79). Initially, the “shocker” started giving a low voltage of what they believed was an actual shock, and they were then asked to gradually increase the voltage in response to suggestions from the experimenter, who would say things like:

1. Please continue.

2. The experiment requires that you continue.

3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.

4. You have no other choice, you must go on.

The experiment was intended to show just how far the “shocker” would go, based on receiving commands from someone in authority. This was all part of an experiment done at Yale. Predictions on how many people would be willing to continue to shock at high voltage levels were low … about 3%. In actuality, however, 65% were willing to give them the juice at the maximum level. Only 1% of the participants in the experiment, after having learned that it had been fake, were sorry they had participated.

Milgram had the following to say about the results: “Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority” (Milgram, 1974). Milgram went out of his way to ensure that this simulation looked real. He wanted those doing the shocking to believe they had actually caused the person receiving the voltage pain. Those receiving the fake jolts would emit pitiful screams, begging the person to stop shocking them.

“The obedience experiments presented a disturbing view of human behavior. Milgram, his colleagues, and later the public were surprised by the sheer power of an authority to compel someone to hurt an innocent person, despite the absence of any coercive means to back up his commands” (Blass, 2004, p. 93).

What does this say about our personalities? Think about Dwight Shrute on the TV show The Office? Isn’t he willing to do just about anything that Michael tells him to do to please his boss or, in other words, a person of authority? We’ve all worked alongside the Dwights of the world. Is it Michael who is to blame for how Dwight acts because he takes advantage of his willingness to please? Possibly. How do you keep from turning into Dwight? How are you supposed to question your boss? In hard economic times such as we have experienced recently, many people find it difficult to turn down any request at work. Fear of losing one’s job is a big factor in what we will allow. Unfortunately, many may not feel as if they have a choice, and will comply with demands.

Is it OK to never question authority? There comes a point when employees feel psychologically abused, whether they recognize it or not. When someone is constantly a target of abuse of authority, they may not realize what’s happening right away. One instance of someone in authority making a negative comment may go unnoticed, however, should the comments continue, that can constitute an abuse of authority. This abuse can lead to poor work performance as the employee’s self-esteem drops.

This excerpt is from the book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality . . . Click here to read the rest of the book.

Reality of Being Seen Live on Facebook, Google+ and Facetime

Today Facebook announced its new integration with Skype that will allow video calling and group chatting. Zuckerberg is touting “ease of use” as one of the key benefits of this system. Facebook can now compete with Google+ and their video chat service named Hangout.

The question now becomes, do you really want to have the capability of having people see you? Recently I was having a conversation with my husband on my iPhone using Apple’s Facetime application. As my husband took his iPhone around the office and said, “say hello to so and so”, I realized that as I could see them, they could also see me in my jammies with no makeup, hair up on top of my head and wearing my reading glasses. It wasn’t glamorous.

Many people use these video calling services when they are at home. Do we really want to see what everyone looks like when they first wake up in the morning? As we start opening up our homes to people with our video capabilities, we may also be showcasing things that may be better left unseen. Think about the dirty dishes in the sink or the unmade bed. Now more people than ever will know everyone’s dirty little secrets.

Prezi Presentation about Education That Blows PowerPoint Out of the Water

Prezi is a presentation software similar to Powerpoint.  Check out this very interesting use of Prezi “Future Proof Your Education” from Maria Andersen where she explains “How do you prepare for uncertain career paths where technical knowledge doubles every two years? You pay attention to the skills that surround the content: Interact, Flex, Learn, Explain, Analyze, and Focus.”

Andersen does a nice job of incorporating the “Did You Know?” video into her presentation while showing how to utilize Prezi to its fullest.  Click on the presentation below to find out more about choices and how knowledge and skills can affect career paths.   Particularly fun is the “Little Billy” video showing what happened to Billy and others when they entered the workforce and experienced information overload syndrome.

If you have ever wondered how to make the most out of using Prezi, this presentation can show how to do this.

 

Nepotism: Consequences Good and Bad

Nepotism may be frowned on in some companies, but that is not to say that some very famous people have been helped by it.  In Latin, nepotis means nephew.  Nepotism is now more broadly defined as:  When someone gives favoritism to a relative without necessarily basing it on their abilities or merit.

Accountingdegree.com had a very interesting article recently titled:  10 Famous Businesspeople Who Benefitted from Nepotism.  This list contained some very recognizable last names including:  Forbes, Trump, Hilfiger, Kraft and Walton.  The article pointed out the hypocrisy that may exist in terms of when nepotism is considered alright.  “At the blue collar level, when friends hire friends or a father expects his children to join the family business, we often believe it’s a sign of strong family values, not unethical or slimy business. But at the executive level — where millions and billions of dollars can be earned — favors are made in secret. It might be tempting to help your children or siblings get a great job, but in the public eye, it’s shameful.”

Viewshound recently wrote about whether nepotism is an unfair advantage or a sensible employment strategy.  Whether it was a sensible strategy or unfair practice is something that will be debated in the current lawsuit where Murdoch News Corporation is being sued by its shareholders for buying the chairman Rupert Murdoch’s daughter’s business for $675 million.  According to the Huffington Post, “The lawsuit seeks damages and a declaration the board breached their fiduciary duty to shareholders.”

Top 5 Things to Know to be a Successful Entrepreneur

The typical entrepreneurial personality has the drive and ambition for success.  Like anything in life, though, it is always harder to do something the very first time.  This can discourage many new entrepreneurs from taking that initial leap and to start their own business. 

I teach several entrepreneurial courses and have put together some important articles that I recommend to my students.  The following list contains many of these articles and some of the most important things that entrepreneurs should do in order to be successful:

  1. Read Success Stories and Attend Lectures:  An excellent way to be inspired and learn from other entrepreneurs is to read their success stories.  Onlineuniversities.com recently came up with a list of 20 Biographies Every Serious Entrepreneur Should Read.  These books include important success stories from Ben Franklin to Sam Walton.  Another very important article to read is:  50 Excellent Lectures for Small Business Owners.
  2. Learn the Truth About Failure:  Many entrepreneurs are stalled in their pursuit of success due to their fear of failure.  Even some of the most famous entrepreneurs met with failure before success.  To find out more about this, check out:  50 Famous People Who Failed Before Becoming Successful. Also see:  Famous Business Failures: Is it as Gloomy as it Sounds? Also see:  10 Famous Product Failures and the Advertisements That Did Not Sell Them.
  3. Learn the Truth About Finances Required:  Not all entrepreneurs come from wealthy families.  It can be challenging to come up with the funds required to begin a business.  Find out how some very famous entrepreneurs became successful in the article:  Famous Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big With Humble Beginnings.
  4. Learn How Women Have Become Successful Entrepreneurs:  Some very successful entrepreneurs have been women.  Check out:  Most Inspiring Entrepreneurial Women.
  5. Learn How to Network:  One of the best ways to get a product or company known is through social media.  Part of an entrepreneur’s success is through finding their customers and their niche.  Check out:  5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses.

Once an entrepreneur has developed a strong idea of the direction they want to take, they need to work on their feasibility study.  Investors will want to see this to be sure that their idea is sound. Another important aspect of creating their new business is deciding on a vision and mission statement.  Check out The Top 10 Mission Statements in 2011. Once an entrepreneur has received enough funds to get their new business off the ground, they may want to consider whether or not to go IPO.  Many companies like Facebook have waited and not gone this traditional route.  Find out Why Companies Are Not Going IPO due to fear of the past dot com crash.

Boomerang Generation: College Graduates Giving up on Employment and Moving Back Home

There has been an unusual trend with recent college graduates.  After working so hard to become educated for their new careers, recent grads are not jumping into the workplace right away.  This has caused an increase in the numbers for unemployment in this population.  However, this unemployment has been influenced by some of these grads actively making the choice not go to work.

It’s not only that employers don’t want the recent graduates. In fact, Wall Street Journal reported, “Employers plan to hire 19% more new graduates this year than in 2010.” Part of the choice has been due to the graduates opting to do other things. In that same article, it was reported, “Career counselors at colleges say that in the past two years they have seen increasing numbers of graduates opting to travel, volunteer, or get unpaid work experience rather than head straight into a tenuous job market.”

Recent statistics show that up to 54% of those under the age of 25 are without a job. Many of them feel that the economy is so bad at this time that they would be wasting their time even trying to get into the workplace.  This has caused a trend of young adults moving back in with their parents.  The New York Post reported, “This year, some three million young people are expected to graduate from college. Facing a double-digit unemployment rate for young people, 85 percent of them will initially move back home with their parents, and that’s up from 67 percent in 2006, according to a poll by researcher Twentysomething Inc.”

Some have referred to this new generation as the Boomerang Generation.  Just as parents think their children have left the nest, they turn around and come right back.  Some students are holding out for the job they want rather than taking “just any job”. Having gone through the time and effort to get a higher education, they are not willing to take employment beneath what they feel qualified to do.

Using QR Codes to Get a Job or Promote Your Business

You probably have seen QR codes and don’t even realize it.  Perhaps they were on a marketing ad or a flyer someone handed you.  You might have seen them on a promotional piece or on a poster at a local store.  It may have looked so under-stated that you probably passed right by it and didn’t give it a second thought.

Start looking for them.  You’ll be surprised at how many places are using them.  What are they?  Think of them like a bar code that lists a lot more information and can direct you to specific websites.  Companies are creating these codes to be used with smartphone apps.  This is an example code that I created for my book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:

It’s really simple to make one.  You can go to a site like Qurify.com and type in the information you want to be encoded.  It may be something as simple as a website address.  You can go to the Qurify site and type in your website URL address. If you don’t have a website, consider putting in your Linkedin profile page.   Click on the Qurify button and then download the image it creates as a jpeg file.  Now you can take this file and put it on your business cards, on your resume, or on any other information you create. 

Anyone who has a QR Reader app on their phone can simply start the app on their phone and point it at your code.  When they do that, they will be directed on their phone to the URL address you entered on Qurify.  It couldn’t be easier. 

This can really make you stand out from the rest in the job search.  Just having that code on your resume will make those that don’t know what it is, look into it why it is on your resume.  For those that do know what it is, they will appreciate how technologically you savvy are.

If you have your own business and want to promote different parts of your website, these can be useful as well.  To show examples, I created several of these QR codes for Dr. Robert Spies’ plastic surgery site.  To see how they work, first download a free QR Reader app onto your smartphone.  Then open that app and point it at the codes listed below.

This code directs you to information about facelifts:

This code directs you to information about tummy tucks:

 This code directs you to information about breast augmentation:

 By having different QR codes like this, you can customize your marketing material to direct people to the appropriate websites.  For companies like a plastic surgery practice, this can be a very effective tool to target people that have a strong enough financial background to own a smartphone as well as those that are interested enough to point their phone at the code for more information.  It is a great tool to specifically target the appropriate population. 

To find out more about how these codes work, check out information from the guys at how stuff works technology podcast. 

You Are Only as Good as Your Last Deal: Top 5 Ways to Avoid Being Expendable at Work

There is an expression that is often used in sales:  “You are only as good as your last deal.” What is meant by that is that management has a short-term memory and no matter how good you were in the past, they are focusing on what you can do for them right now.  It may seem unfair to those who have worked very hard throughout the years to find out that their jobs may be on the line due to one poor month of performance.  However, this is a reality in this market.

The new movie, Larry Crowne, with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, is about Hanks’ character, a top performing employee who has won the employee of the month something like 8 times.  He is self-confident that management has requested his presence in their office to tell him that he has just won for the 9th time.  Instead, he finds out that they are letting him go due to his lack of a college education.

This is a pretty common situation that happens in today’s workplace.  Employees are becoming concerned about keeping their positions.  There are a lot of people with strong work histories out there that are in the market for a job…your job.   There are some important tips to keep in mind when trying to avoid being expendable at work.  These include:

  1. Work harder than your coworkers.  That may seem to be common sense, but it is surprising how many people overlook the fact that they may not be number one in the office.  There is an old expression:  I don’t have to outrun the bear.  I just have to outrun you.  Think of being laid off as the bear and you have to be better than your coworkers to survive.
  2. Multitask.  One way to be more efficient at your job is to multitask.  Some may argue that there is no such thing as true multitasking but there is such a thing as combining small jobs together so that you get more done in less time.  I often share an example with my students of how I would type my call notes while “dialing for dollars” so that I could make twice as many phone calls as my coworkers who waited until the call was completed to type up their notes.  Find ways to combine things like this to be more efficient.
  3. Add value through education.  The Tom Hanks example is a good reason why you should consider furthering your education to compete. You might find that a certification is enough.  You might find that an MBA would add value.  Find the thing that makes you stand out from your fellow coworkers.
  4. Put in the time.  If you are the last one to get to work and the first one to leave, you may find that management has noticed.  Look around your office and pay attention to who gets there late, who lollygags around and doesn’t work hard.  Put in the hours but also be sure that management sees how hard you are working.  There is no shame in copying them on things that show you have done well.
  5. Work smarter vs. harder.  Some people think that just putting in more work hours means they are working hard.  If you are the guy/gal who plans the plan to plan the plan, then you are not efficient.  A plan is important to keep you on track. Just be sure you don’t spend all of your time planning and none of your time doing.

If you do these 5 things, you’ll be well on your way to outrunning your coworkers and avoiding the bear (loss of employment).

Coexisting with Four Generations in the Modern Workplace

The modern workplace has seen growth in the 16 to 24-year olds and over 55 year olds.  With people living and working longer, this growth has led to four generations of workers trying to coexist. This may present challenges to management.  According to The East Valley Tribune, “It’s not merely age that differentiates these workers, said AARP officials, but rather how they approach accomplishing different assignments and tasks, as well as how much “work” defines their everyday lives.” 

These 4 generations include:

World War II Generation (aka depression babies) – Those born prior to 1945

Baby Boomers – Those born 1946 to 1964

Generation X – Those born 1965 to 1982

Generation Y (aka the Millennials) – Those born after 1982

According to the Tribune each of these groups has unique needs:

World War II Generation – appreciate a logical approach to work, with clear job expectations that are fair and consistent. This group prefers face-to-face communication rather than phone or email. . .are reluctant to buck the system, uncomfortable with conflict and reticent when they disagree with their boss or fellow co-workers.

Baby Boomers – represent the largest segment of the American work force. There are roughly 77 million Boomers who are service-oriented, appreciate a team perspective, and are motivated workers . . . appreciate personal communication and the telephone, are not necessarily “budget-minded” and are uncomfortable with conflict. In addition, some may put “success ahead of result.” They also insist on phased retirement and health and wellness programs to foster a healthy lifestyle.

Generation X – are independent and creative souls who are adaptable, technology-literate and like to buck the system. They don’t need a boss constantly looking over their shoulder as they enjoy being turned loose to meet deadlines. . .this group enjoys communicating by voicemail and email and is looking for development opportunities and to add certifications to their resumes for upward mobility.

Generation Y – brings to the workplace optimism, a can-do spirit and the ability to multitask, but they are often inexperienced and require supervision and structure. This group, which prefers instant messaging, blogs, text messages and email, has difficulty communicating in the workplace and likes to be spoken with one-on-one.”

How to Teach Online Classes

I’m testing doing some radio podcasts.  This initial show has issues with the music in the first few seconds but it is just a test . . . Anyone interested in learning how to teach online courses may want to listen to this for helpful information though. Click on the picture to hear the podcast or click here.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/btrplayer.swf

Listen to internet radio with DianeHamilton on Blog Talk Radio

Importance of Facebook Like Button: Millennials and Women Likely to Hop On

Businesses are increasing their presence on Facebook in hopes that users will pick the “Like” button about their company, product or service.  This is becoming today’s “word of mouth” through technology. 

A research brief from the Center for Media Research claims, “Apparently a consumer approval on social media trumps other messages when people want to show their support for local businesses. Leading ways that users show support are:

•75% of people tell their friends

•20% of people say they “Like” it on Facebook to show their support, compared with only 13% who write a review

•Millennials and women are even more likely to hop on Facebook

•40% of people under 35 “Like” a business; 49% in the 18-24 group, versus 18% who said they would write a review

•25% of women hit the “Like” button, versus 11% who write reviews”

This does not mean that Facebook will capture all business.  “The study also showed:

•52% of adults under 35 visit more than two websites before checking out a local business

•63% of respondents under 35 head to Google

•24% visit Facebook;

•21% look at reviews sites and

•17% clicked on the first link on the search results page

•8% of people said a deal is the number one thing that influences them to try a local business”

Most Inspiring Entrepreneurial Women

Men are often listed as examples of successful entrepreneurs.  Oprah’s name may be mentioned, but far fewer women get the same recognition.  To give women their due, accountingdegree.com came up with a list that they name:  15 Female Entrepreneurs Who Are Incredibly Inspiring.

On their list they included Oprah Winfrey as number one (of course).  However, some of the other names listed may not be as recognizable, including:  Diane Von Ferstenburg, Madame C. J. Walker, Ashley Quails, Estee Lauder, Mary Kay Ash, Nelli Cashman, Caterina Fake, Kamila Sadiqi, Judi Henderson-Townsend, Sara Blakely, Ishita Khanna, Lauren Bush, Ama Pomaa Andoh, and Deborah Meaden.

Having taught entrepreneurial courses for many years, I have seen Oprah and Mary Kay listed as excellent examples, but most of these other names could use more recognition.  A few names that I might add to the list would be:  Debbi Fields of Mrs. Smith’s Cookies, Coco Chanel and J. K. Rowlings.  In fact, J. K. Rowlings’ rags to riches story is so fascinating, a new movie, starring Poppy Montgomery, will be coming out about how she made her $800 million fortune.  For more information about background of the 15 female entrepreneurs listed above, click here.

Millennials Actually Utilizing LinkedIn Rather Than Just Having an Inactive Profile

Linkedin has a lot of people with profiles. Quantcast reports “Linkedin has 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 47.6 million globally.” However, that doesn’t mean they are all taking advantage of the site.  Dynamic Business reported, “According to the 2010 LinkedIn Career Trends Research, a staggering 60 percent of professionals surveyed on LinkedIn do not use social media channels when it comes to advancing their careers – despite 87 percent believing an online profile will help their professional identity and career progression. This mirrors results for business adoption of social media, with only 28 percent of small businesses surveyed using social media despite a similar number believing it would help their business.”

That may be changing.  The day of looking for a job in the classified section has gone. Millennials are moving away from newspaper ads.  SMH reported results from I Love Rewards and Experience Inc. that showed, “28 per cent say they will use LinkedIn to find a job, compared with 7 percent the previous year. Newspaper ads are moving in the opposite direction with 28 per cent saying they would turn to newspapers, compared with 34 per cent for the previous year.”

Millennials have been shown to have unique expectations in the working world.  Mashable reported more information from this study showed, “Millenials about to hit the workforce don’t care what size company they work for and that 64% of them plan to stay at their new job for two to five years. Another 24.1% say they plan to stay with their employer for more than 10 years. However, the average tenure for millennials is actually 1.5 years, according to the Department of Labor.”

Bones Brennan Character Exemplifies Lack of Empathy

 

Having empathy is a part of emotional intelligence as defined by leaders in the field of EI such as Rueven Bar-On.  Daniel Goleman describes three types of empathy including: cognitive, emotional and compassionate.  In the book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, it is noted that having empathy is a big part of interpersonal skills.  It has to do with how much we care about other peoples’ feelings and whether we can see things from other peoples’ perspectives.

A recent episode of the TV show, Bones, showed an excellent example of how Emily Deschanel’s character Temperance Brennan lacked empathy.  For those unfamiliar with the program, the Brennan has a high IQ but may lack in the EQ or emotional quotient department.  In this episode, Bennan lacks the ability to realize that her logical thinking and lack of understanding of others’ emotions is rude.  In the episode, Feet on the Beach. Brennan must work with a podiatrist that she feels lacks her superior training and skills.  While this may be fodder for entertainment, people may run into a similar situations at work where they may feel their abilities are being dismissed.

How can someone so smart lack empathy?  It may be difficult for people to do what Dr. Jeremy Sherman refers to as “shoe shifting” or putting ourselves in another’s shoes.  “When you put yourself in another person’s shoes you risk seeing yourself as others would see you—not quite as special as you think”

How do we improve our empathetic abilities?  One way is to improve our listening skills.  For more tips on improving empathy, check out Sherman’s article in Psychology Today.

MBTI and Business Executives Inflated View of Emotional Intelligence

 

Those interested in how personality affects performance often study the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or Emotional Intelligence (EI) and the relationship to leadership.  Rarely do I run across studies that look for relationships between MBTI and EI.  Leary, Reilly and Brown published a Study of Personality Preferences and Emotional Intelligence where they examined the “relationships between the dispositional factors measured by the MBTI and elements of emotional intelligence (EI) as measured by Bar-On’s emotional quotient inventory (EQ-i).”

For those unfamiliar with the MBTI and the EQ-I, the MBTI measures our preferences for how we like to receive information.  The EQ-i measures our emotional quotient or EQ.  Emotional intelligence has often been defined differently by various authors.  One of the easiest ways to think of emotional intelligence is by defining it as the ability to understand your own emotions as well as those in others.

In the Leary et al study, their results showed a relationship between Myers Briggs extroversion and emotional intelligence components.  Also noted in the study was a “positive and significant relationship between a preference for the use of feeling in decision making and an individual’s EI.”

When discussing “feeling” as defined by the MBTI, it refers to how one bases their decisions on their values.  When discussing “extroversion” as defined by the MBTI, it refers to how people prefer to focus on the outer world of people and things.  Leary et al concluded, “The positive and significant results for the extroversion and feeling hypotheses seem consistent with the view that EI is related to the ability to accurately perceive and manage relationships.”

I found the relationship for “feeling” to be the most interesting part of the study due to the high number of “thinking” as opposed to “feeling” executives in the workplace.   The study suggests that using “feeling” when making decisions shows awareness of others’ feelings.  This would be indicative of having emotional intelligence.

If there are more “thinking” people in business executive positions and this study showed people that were “feeling” had more of a relationship to emotional intelligence, what does that say about our business leaders?  A study of nearly 5000 people by Sala revealed that executives may have an inflated idea of how high their emotional intelligence actually is.  “The results of this study demonstrate that higher-level employees are more likely to have an inflated view of their emotional intelligence competencies and less congruence with the perceptions of others who work with them often and know them well than lower-level employees.”

What is interesting to note is that one’s MBTI type does not usually change over time.  However, one can develop their emotional intelligence.  The “thinking” personality type bases their decisions on data.  They tend to be logical.    If people with a strong “thinking” preference do not show as high of a correlation with emotional intelligence now, can they develop this based on their understanding of this data?   It seems logical to conclude this is possible.

As with any self-reported data, there are possible limitations to these studies.  I personally have studied emotional intelligence and its impact on sales performance.  I had to take the EQ-i and the MBTI in my training to be a qualified instructor for both assessments.  I came out as an ESTJ and had a high EQ-i score.  I may be an anomaly, but from what I have seen from the work of Daniel Goleman and others, whether someone is a “thinking” or a “feeling” personality, it is important to always be working on one’s EQ in order to be successful.

Facebook Depression: Report of How Social Networking Can Affect Our Youth

 

A report released today (March 28, 2011) by the American Academy of Pediatrics has come up with a syndrome they call Facebook Depression.  This report is titled:  Clinical Report—the Impact of Social Media on  Children, Adolescents, and Families.  Although Facebook allows people to remain in contact with friends and develop relationships, there can also be a downside.  MyHealthNewsDaily reported, “heavy use of Facebook, as well as other risks of the online world such as cyber bullying and sexting, can have serious consequences, so it’s critical for parents to stay involved in their children’s lives.”

This is not the first time social media has and its impact on young adults has been studied.  Livescience explained, “A big chunk of kids’ social development now takes place in the online world, according to the report. A study released in February 2010 found that 70 percent of wired American teens and young adults use social networking sites. A 2009 poll conducted by Common Sense Media found that more than half of teens use a social networking site more than once a day.”

The good is that there are some “benefits of children and adolescents using social media including:

  • Opportunities for community engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering for local events, including political and philanthropic events
  • Enhancement of individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavors
  • Growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites
  • Expansion of one’s online connections through shared interests to include others from more diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important step for all adolescents and affords the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse about personal and global issues)
  • Fostering of one’s individual identity and unique social skills–Enhanced Learning Opportunities”

For the complete report click here.

Retired for Hire: More Seniors Working, Shopping, Donating and Spending

 

A report released last week from Scarborough.com showed in 2010 that 6.2 million people over 65 are working. This group has been referred to as the Retired for Hire. Many of these workers are not in dire financial straits either. In fact this report showed, “Adults over the age of 65 who are still working full-time or part-time are slightly more likely than the average adult to have an annual household income of $150K or more.”

This report has some interesting profile information about this group including:

  • They were financially in good shape with an average income over $150K
  • Of those working, 57% worked part time and 43% worked full time
  • 22% of them shopped at Wal-Mart in past 3 months
  • They were 30% more likely to donate to green causes
  • They were avid patrons of the arts
  • They were 92% more likely to have donated to political organizations
  • They were just as likely as the normal population to go to the gym
  • 48% of them were into gardening
  • Their use of HDTV’s is up 150%
  • 80% had desktop computers
  • They were more likely to spend money on home improvements
  • 41% made a purchase at Home Depot in the last year

Scarborough concluded, “The 6.2 million adults working past retirement age in America tend to be financially sound, with robust investment portfolios and higher than average incomes. This suggests that financial service providers such as banks, investment firms and personal services such as accounting firms and financial planners have a robust marketing target in Retired for Hire.”

Multi-Tasking and Time Management: Are We Really Attention-Switching?

 

Short of sleeping while ironing, I am constantly doing more than one thing at a time. After giving a speech to a local career group, a man from the audience came up to me and said that “there is no such thing as multi-tasking.”   This is an interesting thing to debate.  This topic became popular a few years ago when scientists were doing a lot of studies on multi-tasking. 

Paul M. Jones claims that the many things we call multi-tasking are actually attention-switching.  According to Jones, “You cannot perform two or more non-trivial tasks at the same time; at best, you pay attention to one and mostly ignore the other, then you switch your attention to the other and dismiss the first one temporarily, and then you switch your attention back to the first again. This is far less effective than completing the first task, then moving on to the second task, because of the time and mental effort it takes to switch between tasks.” 

Some of what people are referring to when they say science has proven that multi-tasking is a myth is due to the results of several studies.  One of those studies was completed by Neuroscientist, Daniel Weissman,  who studied subjects’ brains as they performed different tasks.  For more information on these brain studies, check out NPR’S report by clicking here

I’ve read some of the literature.  Perhaps the wording multi-tasking is the problem. I’m happy to use the term attention-switching. However, for me, if I waited until I completed one thing to start something else, I would be missing a lot of opportunities to fill in some gaps.  I often have several programs open on my computer.  As I am working in one program, waiting for the page to refresh or for something to calculate on screen, I can switch to another program and be working on something else.  If I simply sat and waited for my computer to finish thinking, I’d be doing a lot of staring at my computer’s hourglass.  Saying that multi-tasking is a myth and calling this act attention-switching is fine.  However, I do not agree, at least for me, that tasks must be completed in entirety before moving onto something else. 

In a job where I “dialed for dollars”, I would type my sales call notes as I spoke to my customers over the phone.  This helped me to not forget the most important parts of the conversation.  It also allowed me to have at least an hour more phone productivity time as compared to other employees that waited until they got off the phone to write their notes. 

Whether you want to refer to doing more than one thing at a time as multi-tasking or attention-switching, there is a lot of wasted time out there that I believe more people should be looking for in order to become more efficient.  If you have time management issues, I would suggest looking for things that you can do simultaneously as in my example of the call notes.  Some things can be combined to make your day more productive.

Google, Twitter and YouTube Helping Japanese Earthquake Survivors Find Loved Ones and Shelter

Google’s person find is an online tool dedicated to helping Japanese earthquake survivors find their loved ones.  This tool was developed after the 2010 earthquake in Chile and was used in the New Zealand earthquake as well. Bloomberg reported, “The Google Person Finder service, which collects information about people’s locations and their safety status, is intended to help users find out if their friends and families are safe,” Visit the Google Person Finder 2011 Earthquake site here.

Google reported, “Searching the Internet on sites such as Google, Twitter and their local variants has become more effective in finding loved ones than sifting through wreckage following Japan’s devastating tsunami.”

Youtube has also set up a channel to help victims communicate.  This channel contains messages to help survivors find shelters and others affected by the earthquake. 

Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All?

There is no question that the blogosphere is growing.  According to webdesignerdepot “WordPress has statistics for both WordPress.com (15.1 million blogs and counting) and self-hosted WordPress installations (17.4 million active installations), which gives part of the picture. There are more than 10 million tumblogs on Tumblr. Blogger doesn’t offer any public statistics on how many blogs they host. Technorati is currently tracking more than 1.2 million blogs. And there are likely millions of other blogs out there hosted on other services like Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, and other CMSs.”

There is no shortage of blog search engines to find blogs that contain information of interest. There are also lots of articles by sites like Forbes and others who occasionally list their idea of top blogging sites.  Google and Google News features can be incorporated into an iGoogle page, and can be another way to keep up with topics to follow.

With all of this information out there, who has time to read it all?  Bloggers know it can be good form to make comments on others’ blogs.  However, finding the time to not only read these blogs but formulate insightful comments may be difficult. Even if people find a good blog to follow and subscribe to their RSS feed, as sites continue to be added to the feed, the feed reader may have more information than people have time to visit.

There has been speculation about when blogging popularity will die down.  The latest discussion is whether Facebook will replace blogging and company websites.  Cnet reported, “Even if Facebook doesn’t somehow supplant lots of Web sites, though, there’s no denying the social network is becoming more important to marketing, and it’s adapting to the idea.

 

Bloggers and Social Media Junkies: 5 Tips to Improve Your Writing

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What are some things I can do to improve my blogging and writing skills?

The Internet has turned lot of people into writers.  Bloggers and social media junkies may have great ideas to share but may lack some writing skills that could help improve the message they want to convey.  I know I make a lot of mistakes when I write.  I try not to, but when you blog as much as I do, it is inevitable.  I never intended to be a writer.  However, I found that I liked sharing information, so writing became a means to an end.  When I write my books, I use a professional editor.  Not all of us can be editing experts. It could be very expensive and inconvenient to have to use an editor for every blog and social media posting.  However, there are some simple things that can help to improve writing skills. 

1.  Don’t End Sentences in Prepositions. The problem is that many people have no idea what a preposition is.  Susan Thurman, author of The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need, claims there is a trick to helping recognize a preposition.  “Look at the last eight letters of the word preposition; they spell position.  A preposition sometimes tells the position of something:  in, out, under, over, above and so forth.”  My seventh grade teacher suggested we think about a box.  For example:  in the box, over the box, and so forth. The following are the most common prepositions according to Thurman.  Try to avoid ending a sentence with any of these words:

  • About
  • Above
  • Across
  • After
  • Against
  • Along
  • Among
  • Around
  • At
  • Before
  • Behind
  • Below
  • Beneath
  • Beside
  • Between
  • Beyond
  • But
  • By
  • Concerning
  • Despite
  • Down
  • During
  • Except
  • For
  • From
  • In
  • Inside
  • Into
  • Like
  • Of
  • Off
  • On
  • Onto
  • Out
  • Outside
  • Over
  • Past
  • Since
  • Through
  • Throughout
  • To
  • Toward
  • Under
  • Underneath
  • Until
  • Up
  • Upon
  • With
  • Within
  • Without

2.   Learn to Spell without Spell Check. If you rely too much on a spell checker, you may find that words you meant to write are replaced with words that have entirely different meanings.  I can’t count how many times that a student has sent me a note saying to “please excuse the incontinence”.   It is best if you take the time to learn to spell correctly so that you don’t have to rely on a device that may change your intended meaning. The following are fifty of the most commonly misspelled words according to author Gary Provost of 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing:

  • Acceptable
  • Apology
  • Appetite
  • Architect
  • Assassinate
  • Autumn
  • Calendar
  • Changeable
  • Conscious
  • Correspondence
  • Criticism
  • Deceive
  • Discernible
  • Embarrass
  • Eminent
  • Existence
  • Fascinate
  • Grateful
  • Hygiene
  • Imaginable
  • Immediately
  • Irrelevant
  • Jewelry
  • Judgment
  • Lovable
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mischievous
  • Mortgage
  • Necessarily
  • Occasionally
  • Occurrence
  • Omission
  • Orchestra
  • Potatoes
  • Professor
  • Pseudonym
  • Quarrelsome
  • Religious
  • Reservoir
  • Rhythmic
  • Scissors
  • Syllable
  • Tragedy
  • Umbrella
  • Vanilla
  • Vengeance
  • Weird
  • Wholesome
  • Youthful
  • Zealot

3.  Vary your sentence length.  Some of my students like to write in either really long run-on sentences or overly short monotonous sentences.  Try to vary your sentence length.  Notice how the first sentence in this paragraph was longer and more complex.  That was followed by a shorter more succinct sentence.  It makes your writing easier to read if you vary the sentence length and mix it up a bit. 

4.  Ask yourself some questions once you have finished your draft.  Does the initial paragraph let the reader know what your paper, blog or article is going to contain?  Do you have needless repetition of ideas?  Is your tone and tense consistent?  Does one paragraph advance to the next in a smooth fashion?  Does each of your paragraphs contain a topic sentence that conveys the thought you have developed throughout that paragraph? 

5.  Work on expanding your vocabulary.  Rather than learning overly complicated words to express what you want to say, try varying the way that you say things by using a thesaurus.  If you are talking about a house, perhaps refer to that house as a dwelling or a building in the next sentence.  If you find that you are using the same word over and over, check out some alternatives words in a thesaurus to add dimension to your writing.

I know I am guilty of making some of these mistakes.  Through practice, we can all improve our skills. 

Top 50 Venture-Funded Companies for 2011

The Wall Street Journal had a couple of very interesting articles about start-up companies and their ability to obtain funding.  The following list of top 50 venture-funded companies for 2011 came from one of those articles.  Of particular interest to me was the ease that some young entrepreneurs are finding in terms of ways to obtain capital, should their startups be technology-based.  Everyone is looking to get in on the next Facebook or Google.  Entrepreneur Aaron Levie, 26, was able to raise $48 million in less than 3 weeks for Box.net, his online storage company.  Check out what WSJ.com claims are the top 50 start ups for 2011 below:

Rank Company Name Location Industry Why It’s Hot 2010 Rank Total Equity Raised in Millions
1 Castlight Health Inc. San Francisco Health Care As consumers pay more of their health-care bills, Castlight lifts the veil on medical costs. 14 $81.00
2 Xirrus Inc. Thousand Oaks, Calif. Information Technology Founder Dirk Gates previously took another start-up, Xircom, public and then sold it to Intel. 9 $80.25
3 Xactly Corp. San Jose, Calif. Business and Financial Services Xactly’s partners include Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com, which invested last June.   $69.00
4 Recycle Rewards Inc. New York Business and Financial Services Recyclebank is expanding internationally and currently operates in 29 states. 25 $73.35
5 ExteNet Systems Inc. Lisle, Ill. Information Technology ExteNet raised $128 million in a January 2010 round led by George Soros’s investment firm.   $191.90
6 Cyan Optics Inc. Petaluma, Calif. Information Technology CEO Michael Hatfield previously founded Calix Networks, which held an IPO last year.   $90.83
7 Aster Data Systems Inc. San Carlos, Calif. Information Technology Aster helps companies analyze data to understand customer behavior and detect fraud.   $47.00
8 Glam Media Inc. Brisbane, Calif. Consumer Services Glam’s sites attract 198 million monthly visitors world-wide. 13 $154.20
9 Carrier IQ Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Information Technology The software sits on 140 million devices world-wide, providing data to Sprint and Vodafone.   $48.00
10 Imperva Inc. Redwood Shores, Calif. Information Technology CEO Shlomo Kramer co-founded one of Israel’s largest tech companies, Check Point Software.   $54.00
11 Vidyo Inc. Hackensack, N.J. Information Technology Vidyo powers Google Chat and bundles its software on Hewlett-Packard PCs. 35 $61.19
12 Etsy Inc. Brooklyn, N.Y. Consumer Services It’s profitable and in August it estimated 2010 revenue of $30 million to $50 million.   $51.25
13 RGB Networks Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology RGB acquired mobile-video rival RipCode in June.   $119.00
14 IronKey Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology Founder and Chairman David Jevans helped develop Apple’s Internet strategy.   $50.30
15 Appia Inc. Durham, N.C. Information Technology Appia is moving to build app marketplaces for the likes of AT&T and Samsung.   $18.25
16 The Active Network Inc. San Diego Business and Financial Services Having raised at least $275 million, Active has made numerous acquisitions.   $272.44
17 Nimble Storage Inc. San Jose, Calif. Information Technology Nimble has built an appliance that provides primary and backup storage in one box.   $24.27
18 PatientSafe Solutions Inc. San Diego Health Care After raising $30 million in February, PatientSafe completed and launched its iPod Touch system.   $71.50
19 Glaukos Corp. Laguna Hills, Calif. Health Care Glaukos is developing a new medical-device treatment for open-angle glaucoma.   $117.55
20 Fusion-io Inc. Salt Lake City Information Technology Executive team boasts Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. 2 $111.50
21 Achaogen Inc. South San Francisco, Calif. Health Care Has support from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense.   $103.00
22 NeuroPace Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Health Care Filed for approval of a system to monitor and stop epileptic seizures. 12 $130.30
23 Xoom Corp. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Two large, undisclosed public equities firms led its last $33 million round.   $81.44
24 Workday Inc. Pleasanton, Calif. Business and Financial Services The latest effort from Dave Duffield is challenging his earlier creation, PeopleSoft. 16 $110.00
25 SpiderCloud Wireless Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Information Technology Helps carriers meet the growing demand for mobile broadband on corporate campuses.   $54.10
26 Jive Software Inc. Palo Alto, Calif. Information Technology Financed by Google backers Kleiner and Sequoia, Jive Software brings social-networking tools to big business.   $57.57
27 Federated Media Publishing San Francisco Consumer Services Federated Media has made three acquisitions since August to bulk up its advertising and publishing network.   $57.25
28 Boku Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services CEO Mark Britto previously led Ingenio to an acquisition by AT&T and Accept.com to Amazon.   $38.00
29 Zoosk Inc. San Francisco Consumer Services The “social” online-dating company has more than 15 million active monthy users. 42 $40.10
30 EndoGastric Solutions Inc. Redmond, Wash. Health Care With $120 million total raised, EndoGastric is pushing to profitability.   $128.68
31 Chegg Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Consumer Services Chegg recently acquired two firms to expand into other student services. 32 $166.20
32 Everyday Health Inc. New York Consumer Services Everyday Health’s sites host 26.5 million visitors a month. In January, it partnered with AOL.   $77.20
33 Xsigo Systems Inc. San Jose, Calif. Business and Financial Services Xsigo’s board of directors includes Veritas Software’s Mark Leslie and HP’s chairman Ray Lane.   $60.00
34 Soasta Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Information Technology Soasta tests the mettle of online services prior to launch by simulating heavy traffic. 36 $21.05
35 Rally Software Development Corp. Boulder, Colo. Information Technology Rally was named the sixth best place to work in the U.S. by Outside magazine last year.   $49.25
36 Prosper Marketplace Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Prosper leveraged the credit crisis to build a service matching lenders and borrowers.   $54.24
37 Pivot3 Inc. Houston Information Technology It says bookings doubled each of the last four years.   $78.00
38 Suniva Inc. Norcross, Ga. Energy and Utilities One of the only start-up solar-cell makers in the U.S. that’s enjoying rising demand. 15 $130.50
39 Veracyte Inc. South San Francisco, Calif. Health Care Developing minimally invasive molecular tests to provide earlier cancer diagnoses.   $49.00
40 ExactTarget Inc. Indianapolis Business and Financial Services Exact Target scrapped an IPO in 2009 and has bought three companies in 17 months.   $155.50
41 OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. Redwood City, Calif. Health Care OncoMed has shown an ability to attack cancer stem cells, which resist traditional chemotherapy.   $168.02
42 ExaGrid Systems Inc. Westborough, Mass. Information Technology ExaGrid’s technology is similar to that of Data Domain, the subject of a $2.2 billion EMC-NetApp bidding war.   $78.10
43 SeeSaw Networks Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Founder Monte Zweben previously founded Blue Martini Software and Red Pepper.   $19.59
44 Silver Peak Systems Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Information Technology Silver Peak is growing quickly and taking on larger rival Riverbed Technology. 20 $59.80
45 Zilliant Inc. Austin, Texas Information Technology Zilliant uses scientific data to maximize profits by fine-tuning pricing.   $62.47
46 Yammer Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Called “Facebook for business,” Yammer has been embraced by employees at large companies.   $40.00
47 Bivio Networks Inc. Pleasanton, Calif. Information Technology Its government contracts helped it navigate the recession better than most.   $78.30
48 TxVia Inc. New York Business and Financial Services CEO Anil Aggarwal has a decade of experience running electronic-payments firms.   $51.50
49 Service-now.com Inc. Del Mar, Calif. Information Technology Founder and CEO Fred Luddy was CTO of Peregrine Systems and Remedy. Former Documentum CEO Jeff Miller and Proflowers.com CEO Bill Strauss became directors last year. 45 $54.86
50 Aprius Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology Cofounder Peter Kirkpatrick hails from Intel and CEO Varun Nagaraj led NetContinuum.   $31.00

Source:Dow Jones VentureSource

5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses

 

Entrepreneurs are often looking for ways to promote their new businesses.  On March 18, the local YOB (Your Own Business) Fair will be a place where Arizona business owners can go to find out tips to help them promote their business.  I will have a booth there and I hope you will join me.  In the meantime, please check out some of the top networking tips that small businesses should be considering in order to succeed: 

  1. Find out where your customers are and connect to them through social networking.  It is important to network with as many people as you can, but remember to try and focus on those that have connections.  Spend some time looking through contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter to see who your friends and contacts know.  Get into groups on sites like LinkedIn and start threads about topics that would be of interest to people you’d like to target as customers.  Become an expert in the Q&A area on LinkedIn as well.  Create Facebook pages for your company and products.  Link your sites together so that your updates get posted to all of your social networking sites.  If you don’t know where to begin to learn how to social network, check out letsgetsocial.com for a reasonably priced series of videos to show you how to become social-networking savvy.  If you have the funds, you could hire a social media expert to do it for you.
  2. Give people something so that they will want to come to your site.  If you aren’t on Youtube, you need to be.  Create several short (3-4 minute) videos offering people something for free and post them on Youtube.  End your video with a link to your landing page to have them sign up for a free newsletter or some other free item.  This will allow you to capture their email address and get them on your mailing list in a legitimate way.  The videos do not have to be fancy.  A simple video camera can create all you need.  You can also make a PowerPoint presentation and then overlay it with Camtasia so that your file has your voice and presentation without necessarily having to have a video of your face if that makes you more comfortable.  You can upload the file to Youtube and also link to it from your website and/or blog. 
  3. Ask for word of mouth.  One of the best ways to get noticed is to have people talk about your business.  If you aren’t asking your satisfied customers to tell other people about you, then you are missing the boat.  Happy customers are usually more than willing to tell others about you if you ask them to do so.  Many just haven’t considered it until it is brought up.  Ask people if they know people who could use your service.  If they do, ask them if they will tell people about you and give them your cards or flyers to give to these people. Remember to ask people to do things based on assessing their level of comfort.  Part of connecting with others is to understand individual personalities
  4. Keep records of contacts you make.  If you have a software package like ACT! or Outlook, you can keep notes there.  Keep a record of everyone you meet and make notes about everything you know about them.  Every time you meet someone new, find out something about them that you can write down into your file and bring up later.   If you can figure out their birthday from Facebook, always send them a note saying “happy birthday”.  Find reasons to stay in contact.  Put notes into your calendar reminding yourself to drop a note, asking if the baby was born yet or how the wedding went.  Showing an interest in people draws them closer to you.  Avoid promoting your products and yourself in all outgoing messages.  Make it be about them or give them information that helps them and makes them want to come back to you.    
  5. Be a resource or mentor.  Find ways to offer your services for free to others and it will bring people back to you later.  On LinkedIn, you can answer questions in the Q&A room to help others and get recognized.  Join local groups and volunteer to do things to become noticed.  People remember kindness and are more willing to give out your name to others if they associate you with good things. 

Can’t Afford to Take the Myers Briggs MBTI? A Free Way to Determine Your Personality Type and Job Preferences

 

Myers Briggs MBTI personality assessment is one of the most reliable and valid instruments on the market.  Employers and job-seekers alike have found the results to be useful to explain personality preferences and match job applicants to appropriate positions. However, in a tough economy, not everyone has the financial resources to take the actual MBTI.  While, there are a lot of free MBTI-like tests on the Internet, most of them are set up to obtain your email address for future promotions.  Although I highly recommend taking the actual MBTI, there are other ways to get an idea of your individual personality preferences.   The following is not nearly as reliable or valid as taking the actual MBTI, but it can give you some insight as to where you fall within the personality types described by Myers Briggs.

Wikipedia does a nice job of explaining the MBTI model and Myers Briggs work.  The site explains that  “individuals are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. The MBTI sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or dichotomies, with a resulting 16 possible psychological types. None of these types are better or worse; however, Briggs and Myers theorized that individuals naturally prefer one overall combination of type differences. In the same way that writing with the left hand is hard work for a right-hander, so people tend to find using their opposite psychological preferences more difficult, even if they can become more proficient (and therefore behaviorally flexible) with practice and development. The 16 types are typically referred to by an abbreviation of four letters—the initial letters of each of their four type preferences (except in the case of intuition, which uses the abbreviation N to distinguish it from Introversion). For instance:

  • ESTJ: extraversion (E), sensing (S), thinking (T), judgment (J)
  • INFP: introversion (I), intuition (N), feeling (F), perception (P)

And so on for all 16 possible type combinations.”   In order to discover your 4 letter type, you must consider how you prefer to obtain information, what energizes you, how you make decisions and how you approach life.  The chart below lists some words and phrases that may best describe your personality.

Using the chart listed above, look at the qualities listed under each of the headings and pick the letter that best represents you.  You will pick either either an E or I for extroversion or introversion; an S or N for sensing or intution; a T or F for thinking or feeling; and a J or P for judgement or perception as the personality type that you feel best represents you based on the words listed below each heading.  In the end you will have a 4 letter type.   Once you know that 4 letter type, you can look at the chart below to look at jobs that match well with your personality preferences.

There is no shortage of information on the Internet regarding jobs that match MBTI results.  Once you are able to obtain your 4 letter “type”, you can search for more information about that type online.  For more information about personalities and type, check out:  It’s Not You It’s Your Personality.

Are Teachers Being Treated as Inventory? LIFO Used as a Method of Deciding Teachers’ Fate

 

Any business major should probably be able to define LIFO and FIFO.  These letters stand for “Last in First Out” and “First in First Out”. They are usually associated with how inventory is handled.  For example, if you had produce on a truck, and you dealt with it in a LIFO method, that means the last produce put on the truck would be first to come off of the truck.  That would probably not be good of a method in that situation because the produce put on first would get rotten.  So in that instance, FIFO would be a better system…First on the truck, first off the truck so that the inventory would stay fresh. 

LIFO is now a term you may be hearing when schools are considering laying off teachers.  In other words, last teachers hired would be the first teachers fired.  CNN reported, “A wave of layoffs will likely happen this summer…StudentsFirst.org, calculates that at least 160,000 teachers are at risk of losing their jobs. What makes this even tougher on kids is that the majority of the country’s states and school districts conduct layoffs using an antiquated policy referred to as “last in, first out.” The policy mandates that the last teachers hired are the first teachers fired, regardless of how good they are. As it stands now, teachers’ impact on students plays absolutely no role in these decisions.”

In the produce example, using FIFO made sense for the sake of product freshness.  In the example of how to decide educator layoffs, schools may be choosing LIFO for reasons of fairness to those who have put in their time.  However, does being on the job for extended periods of time, make the employee a better employee?  Michelle Rhee, author of the CNN article, thinks not.  Rhee launched StudentsFirst to defend children’s’ rights in schools. “StudentsFirst formed in 2010 in response to an increasing demand for a better education system in America.”  For more information about StudentsFirst, click here.

Is Facebook and Twitter Keeping You Out of College or Helping You Get In?

Employers often use Google or other online research sites to find out about prospective job applicants. If there is embarrassing or incriminating information out there, it may not just be prospective employers that find it. 

Universities are also performing online searches on prospective students. According to Latimes, “College admissions officials look up applicants on Facebook and Twitter, experts say. Details revealed through social media can make or break a good impression.”

Keep in mind, social media can be a way to have employers and universities find out good things about you as well.  In the Latimes article the editor of StudentAdvisor “suggests following the school’s Twitter feed or “liking” its Facebook fan page. Students also can post a video resume on YouTube or blog about volunteering efforts or other extracurricular activities and provide a link on their applications.”

For more information, check out the Online Reputation Guide

Online Reputation Guide for College-Bound Students

Controlling Emotions at Work: Part of Core Employment Skills?

 

Lesley Wright’s recent article in the Arizona Republic offered some insight into a new book by author and ASU professor Vincent Waldron.  Waldron’s book, titled, “Communicating Emotion at Work”, due later this year, will include information from his 20 years of studying emotions in the workplace.

In the book, “It’s Not You It’s Your Personality” similar topics are covered in chapters about emotional intelligence and concern for impact.  Concern for impact may be defined as how much we care about how others perceive us.  In the Arizona Republic article, “Waldron argues that emotional communication should be a core employment skill.”  Emotions are a buzz word in the workplace since Daniel Goleman helped increase the popularity of emotional intelligence with his book about why emotional intelligence could matter more than IQ. Books about emotions in the workplace can be a very effective tool to help explain why people act the way they do.  This can be very important, especially in a team setting.  As more companies are creating teams, understanding one’s fellow employees and their emotions can be critical to the success of a team and their projects.

Some of the things that Waldron pointed out in his interview with Wright tied into having concern for impact which can be an important part of one’s success in the workplace. Waldron claims, “The theme of this book is that emotions, both positive and negative, have in a sense evolved to serve a purpose. Emotional communication is a tool for making our organizations and our lives richer, more moral, more humane and potentially building better workplaces. Sometimes that means regulating and suppressing emotions. So we need to be competent at understanding the emotions and learning to regulate them. I’m sort of arguing for a heightened awareness of how emotion makes us good. I don’t think there is any competitive disadvantage to being emotionally competent.”

Famous Business Failures: Is It As Gloomy As It Sounds?

Many hopeful entrepreneurs secretly have concerns about failure.  Although the failure rates are often misquoted, they are a natural concern.  It is not unusual to hear someone say 9 out of 10 businesses fail within 2 years. That statistic may sound impressive, but it is probably inaccurate.  According to smallbusinessplanned.com after 4 years, 50% of small businesses are still open.

There are a lot of successful business owners out there that didn’t necessarily make it on their first try.  The good news is that they didn’t give up and eventually found success.  For a list of 50 famous people who failed before they became successful, click here.

That is not to say there haven’t been some incredible blunders.  Accountingdegree.com has an interesting article about 13 of the biggest business blunders of all time. That list includes:

  • Enron
  • Charles Ponzi
  • Pan American
  • British Petroleum
  • SwissAir
  • Woolworth’s
  • Rafaello Follieri
  • Toyota Recalls
  • Washington Mutual
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Fashion Café
  • Bernie Madoff
  • Napster

To read the full article and find out more about how these business blunders occurred, click here.

InMaps from Linkedin: Map Your Social Connections If You Can Get It To Work

Have you ever wondered what your network actually looks like?  With Linkedin InMaps, they claim you can get a map of colors to show your connections and how they inter-relate.  Colors represent groups within your professional connections.  It’s a way to see how you know people and visualize relationships.

It sounded very interesting so I thought I’d check it out.  I was unable to view InMaps through Explorer or AOL.  It suggested using Google’s Chrome or Firefox but it never worked with those applications either.  It just gives a never-ending processing swirl on the page.  I was curious if it had to do with Windows 7 so I tried it on my Mac with no luck either. Granted, I have a lot of connections on Linkedin, but the processing swirl never stopped. 

Perhaps they are just having problems with the site that will resolve.  If anyone has had good or bad things to say about InMaps, I’d be curious to hear about it.

401K Reinrollment: Why Your Money May Be Put Into Target-Dated Funds

Target-dated funds are mutual funds that automatically adjust the asset mix of stocks, bonds and cash usually based on the investor’s future retirement date.  Companies have been offering these options for their employees for many years.  Some companies are now even having employees have to acknowledge if they don’t want to have their money put into target-dated funds.

In the hope of helping employees keep their money safe, companies are stepping in and trying to control where they hold their retirement funds.  Employees can continue to choose from their company’s listed fund choices, but if they don’t opt out of the target-dated funds, their money may just be moved for them.

For those people who don’t want to hassle with choices and watching their funds, this may be a good choice.  For those who are more financially savvy, the target-dated funds may not appeal to them; they may prefer to have control over their investments.

There are pros and cons to using target-dated funds based on gender, age and risk tolerance.  For more information about target-dated funds and employers utilizing them, check out a recent article by the Wall Street Journal by clicking here.

25 Improv Tricks to Help Become Business Savvy

For those looking for some advice about how to be a better business person, Business Schools Directory had some unique ideas taken from improv.  “At first glance, improv might seem like the direct opposite of the business world. It’s silly, raucous, and spontaneous. But improv actors are sharp professionals who have an incredible ability to pull from past dialogue, anticipate future scenes and relationships, and engage audiences in just moments.”

To learn how to be more business savvy, based on tactics gained from improve actors, including how to introduce yourself, how to use your body, and more click here:  25 tricks that work on stage and may just work in the business world.

Gainful Employment Rule: Effect on For-Profit Schools and Graduation Rates

 

For-profit education is beginning to feel the squeeze.  July 2, 2012 marks the day that the U.S. Department of Education rule goes into effect.  This rule restricts students from using government aid to pay for schooling that doesn’t include occupations that have a strong entry-level salary.  

This isn’t the only issue that for-profits are facing.  A loophole has been close that would allow schools to financially reward admission counselors for enrolling students.  This is one of the reasons enrollment is down at some of the major for-profit universities.  This has also led these universities to increase tuition to cover their losses. 

The programs that are considered not high paying enough to meet the Gainful Employment rule will be shut down.  The New York Times reported that accounts for only about 5% of these schools’ programs. What happens to the students already enrolled in them? The Arizona Republic reported  that they are allowed to continue with the program under the “teach out” rule.

Many for-profit universities are implementing new programs to help face their new challenges including:  orientation programs to improve retention, trying to bolster brand awareness, and finding ways to comply with the July deadline to meet the Gainful Employment Rule. 

Many of the guidelines that are changing now are to protect students and to be sure that they are graduating with degrees that will be worth their expense. Politics Daily reported that a study completed by the Committee of Health Labor Education and Pensions found “94.4 percent of students attending for-profit schools take out loans, compared to 16.6 percent attending community college and 44.3 percent enrolled in traditional four-year public schools. Much of that money comes from federal Pell Grants, which help low-income applicants attend schools of higher education, but is often never returned if they don’t graduate.”

It is important that students are able to complete their programs, not only to pay back the loans, but to move ahead in their careers.  The New York Times claimed, The report, “Subprime Opportunity,” by the Education Trust, found that in 2008, only 22 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students at for-profit colleges over all graduate within six years, compared with 55 percent at public institutions and 65 percent at private nonprofit colleges.

For now, for-profit colleges are making some needed changes. The Arizona Republic reported that Peter Wahlstrom of Morningsar, who tracks major for-profit education companies, stated, “What you are trying to do is create a solid program based on academic quality, which, in turn, helps with student outcomes. That helps with retention, that helps with enrollment, and that eventually helps with financial results.”

50 Excellent Lectures for the Small Business Owner

Many are now just completing their MBA or considering starting their own small business. There is a great article from BSchool that includes 50 excellent lectures about entrepreneurship, practical tips, innovation, leadership, technology and the economy.  The courses come from sources like the University of California through UCTV.  The one I first watched was an hour long and had four accomplished entrepreneurs discuss the excitement and challenges of starting a business. It offered an insight into what to expect as a new entrepreneur and pitfalls to avoid.

These are excellent lectures. To see the complete article, go to BSchool’s link by clicking here.  Bschool.com is an online resource for MBA programs and top
online business schools. They provide thorough information on MBA subjects, specialty MBAs and business school rankings.

To see the the types of lectures, I have included an excerpt from the  bschool.com article:

Entrepreneurship

These lectures tackle topics in entrepreneurship, from appealing to the consumer to making great pitches.

  1. Entrepreneurs: Four entrepreneurs share their journeys to open a new business, and the talks inspire passion and excitement.
  2. Entrepreneurship and Society: This talk from UCTV is led by Tom Kemp, President and CEO of Centrify Corporation. He talks about what new ventures need in order to effectively appeal to the modern-day consumer.
  3. Women Entrepreneurs: Consider the differences between men and women as business leaders and owners.
  4. Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship: President Obama gives a talk to an international audience on entrepreneurship and realizing the American dream.
  5. Entrepreneurs: Then and Now: Guy Kawasaki compares the foundation of entrepreneurial strategy during the late 1990s and what’s popular and effective now.
  6. Leadership and Entrepreneurship: This lecture from MIT World features three business leaders from completely different fields but who have relied on their instincts and bold ideas to get their ideas off the ground.
  7. Whatever it Takes to Stay in Business: Frank Levinson encourages entrepreneurs to lose their pride, just like a baby, in order to please their customers and stay in business, whatever it takes.
  8. New Media Entrepreneurship: This talk is from 2008 but still has valuable tips on developing a good, emotional, factual pitch and going for the gold in order to move up in business.
  9. Behaviors of Successful Business Owners: Ron Finkelstein from Akris, LLC shares how entrepreneurs can make more money and develop productive employees, all with an efficient use of time.
  10. David S. Rose on pitching to VCs: In this TED lecture, serial entrepreneur David S. Rose helps you to pitch and prove yourself to venture capitalists.

Practical Education

From management to marketing, here are lectures that give you new ideas to help you build your business.

  1. John Gerzema: The post-crisis consumer: Learn how to appeal to the post-recession consumer here.
  2. Team Process Leadership: James Seferis’ innovative philosophy on business leadership and success involves active participation from all team members.
  3. Finding Gold: Hiring the Best and the Brightest: Watch this lecture from UWTV to build an invaluable team that’s focused, motivated and cooperative.
  4. Customer Relationship Management: Former Amazon.com executive Bill Price weighs in on customer relationship management.
  5. Marketing a Start-up: Learn how to develop a smart marketing strategy before attempting to sell anything.
  6. The Case for Sustainability: Sustainability isn’t really an option for new business owners in today’s society: it’s a necessity. Here you’ll learn how to develop a sustainable, environmentally conscious business that’s also attractive to consumers.
  7. The Naked Corporation: Learn how to be a more transparent and honest business owner, in an age when positivity is just as important as profitability.
  8. Talk to an Angel: Crucial Connections to Early Stage Capital: This group from MIT helps entrepreneurs find the right investors when they’re first starting out.
  9. Joseph Pine on what customers want: Writer and consultant Joseph Pine gives tips on selling authenticity to modern consumers.
  10. Choosing people — the ultimate talent?: Look over the transcript from this lecture given at Gresham College to choose the right senior people so that you have less managing to do later.
  11. Challenges of Managing: Firing People: Gajus Worthington is a proponent of firing employees in order to produce a healthy, successful business. This 22-part lecture series offers tips for firing and recruiting.
  12. Business Ethics: These lectures given by top business executives and professors will clue you into integrity, corporate responsibility, and ethical leadership culture in the business world.
  13. No Sweat Speaking: Whether you need to work on giving pitches or improving upon your networking skills, this public speaking lecture will teach you how to tell a good story, make use of the audience, and relax before speaking.
  14. Chinese Business Culture for Business Travelers: If you plan on doing business in the East or recruiting from China, watch this lecture.

Innovation and Leadership

Learn how to effect change and inspire your workers here.

  1. Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty: James Parker and Barbara Stocking discuss strategies for energizing and motivating all employees of an organization, from the top down.
  2. Bringing Creativity into an Organization: Ignore the classic MBA management strategies if you want to really cultivate creativity in your workplace, argues Robert I. Sutton.
  3. Building the Next Generation Company: Innovation, Talent, Excellence: Lecturer John Chambers came out of the last recession with big profits, and in this speech, he explains how you can beat the recession, too.
  4. Seth Godin on standing out: Don’t bury your creative ideas because they seem outrageous: those are the ones worth nurturing.
  5. Howard Rheingold on collaboration: Learn how to work with team members around the world with technology, new media and open culture.
  6. Richard Branson’s life at 30,000 feet: Notable entrepreneur Richard Branson is interviewed about his larger than life ideas, his major struggles, and his motivations.
  7. A Policy on Leadership: If your business is struggling — or you want to prevent a fallout — watch this lecture to learn how to create a fact-based analytical organization and good management teams.
  8. Values-Based Leadership: Strive to be a leader with character, and you’ll end up inspiring your employees to work just as hard as you do.
  9. Innovative Leadership during Economic Crisis: Let this lecture help you to think outside the box, no matter what kind of crisis is getting in your way. You’ll learn how to be innovative in three areas: with customers, people, and products.
  10. How great leaders inspire action: Simon Sinek’s TED speech uses examples like Martin Luther King, Apple and the Wright brothers to explain how the mark of a great leader is his or her ability to inspire action and change.
  11. Composing a Career and Life: Get inspired to take a nonlinear path when obstacles are tossed into your plan.
  12. Derek Sivers: How to start a movement: Don’t settle for selling goods or services. Learn how to start a movement.
  13. The case for collaborative consumption: Rachel Botsman’s lecture focuses on our natural desire to share, and how collaborative consumption is a powerful economic force.
  14. Gerd Leonhard: Find out why ego doesn’t have a place in business anymore, and what that means for your business plan.
  15. Video Player The Power of Competition: How to Focus the World’s Brains on your Innovation Challenges: Conversely, Fiona Murray believes competition is healthy, too, and asks business owners to embrace it in order to add a jolt of energy to the enterprises.
  16. Nurturing a Vibrant Culture to Drive Innovation: Here’s another lecture on inspiring innovation in order to nurture a talented, unique team that drives your business.

Technology

Become a smarter user of technology so that social media and other tools end up working for you.

  1. Technology and the Recession: how new technology is changing the way we do business: Consider technology’s new role in business.
  2. Craig Mod: Publisher and developer Craig Mod discusses the changes coming for the book publishing industry, but as one commenter notes, the questions raised are relevant to all business ventures.
  3. Why social network mess can benefit your business: Euan Semple’s talk should convince you to get involved in social media, even though it’s always changing.

The Economy

Discover how to work with the economy, even in bad times.

  1. Shaped by Booms and Busts: How the Economy Impacts CEO Management Style: On your way to becoming a CEO, find out how to make room for economic changes.
  2. Video Player The Economic Meltdown: What Have We Learned, if Anything?: Paul Krugman delivers this lecture to MIT to help us learn from our mistakes.
  3. Alex Tabarrok on how ideas trump crises: Consider the notion that free trade has opened us to global collaboration and an idea-sharing culture.
  4. Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women: Get statistics on the rise of women in the workforce, and their newly appreciated value in the economy.
  5. The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage: Here you’ll learn why it’s important to organize your company so that it can withstand catastrophe, from an economic downturn to an event like 9/11.
  6. Making Globazliation Work for All: Watch this lecture to learn how to make use of globalization without succumbing to immoral practices, like using sweatshops.
  7. Business, Knowledge and Global Growth: You’ll learn about the true impact that MBAs and business schools have had on the economy.

What is the Difference Between a Citation and a Reference?

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What do professors mean when they say to include citations and references?

Students are often required to have both citations and references when creating their college assignments.  There can be confusion as to what the difference is between a citation and a reference.  Cornell explains, “a citation occurs when you use a specific source in your work and then follow up with the proper bibliographic information; plagiarism issues arise when you use a specific source, but fail to indicate what you have borrowed, and/or fail to provide proper bibliographic information a reference is the bibliographic information that guides readers to your source.”

It may seem easier to understand when given examples of each.  Here is an example of a citation:

“Canadians can celebrate that smoking rates have dropped dramatically in Canada in the past three decades” (Reutter, 2001, p. 13). 

You may also paraphrase what others have written.  Here is an example of how to do this correctly:

According to the Canadian Lung Association (2008), most people who quit smoking use a combination of methods. 

These should be included within the body of the document. They should not be confused with references.  References should be included on the separate Reference Page.

An example of how to list references on a Reference Page is listed below.  Keep in mind that formatting will not show up correctly on a blog.  The first line of each reference should be at the left margin and each following line should be indented 1/2 inch.  Here is an example without the indentations showing up:

References

Canadian Lung Association. (2008). How to quit. Retrieved May 26, 2008, from http://www.lung.ca/protect-protegez/tobacco-tabagisme/quitting-cesser/how-comment_e.php

Reutter, L. (2001). Health and wellness. In P. A. Potter, A. G. Perry, J. C. Ross-Kerr, & M. J. Wood (Eds.), Canadian fundamentals of nursing (2nd ed.) (pp. 2-30). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Harcourt Canada.

It is important to note that many students think they should just include references to show the sites they visited or read to complete the assignment.  This is not correct.  References should be listed to explain where the citation information was obtained.  If a citation was not listed within the document, it doesn’t make sense to list a reference.

Career Dreams are Attainable: Expert Guides Readers to Ultimate Success

 

01.17.2011– Dr. Diane Hamilton is the go-to expert on all things career. The author of three books, she urges readers to not be afraid to try new things. Most importantly, students and job hunters alike must be self-aware, allowing them to know what they want and to allow them to have the career of their dreams.

Bill Gates is not the only one who believes that online education is the wave of the future. In The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything you Need to Know to be a Successful College Online Student, Hamilton guides readers through the process. It took Diane many years to become a successful online teacher and it is the job she loves the most from her 30+ year working career. It’s time readers heed the advice of seasoned professor Hamilton.

In her second book How to Reinvent Your Career: Make More Money Doing What You Love, Diane delves deeper into the importance of taking that degree and making life choices to better oneself. After reinventing herself over 10 times in her career, Diane Hamilton learned many business and life lessons along the way, making her the consummate professional for advice regarding all things career. This in-depth book covers everything from how to properly use social marketing to studying the marketplace. A detailed analysis of up and coming careers is also included. Getting down to the “nitty gritty,” Diane Hamilton proves with this book that she has the power to convey what would be overwhelming information in a concise, no-nonsense yet friendly approach.

“With my first two books, I based my writing on life experience and sharing what I know,” said Hamilton. “Then I wanted to take it to the next level, taking advantage of my training and certification in personality assessments. I chose to have some fun and co-authored my third book with my daughter, Toni Rothpletz. Together we created a book, meant to be entertaining learning for post-boomer workers trying to decipher personalities in the workplace.”

Personality tests abound. Which one is right for each individual? Together Hamilton and Rothpletz analyze each test and leave it up to the reader (with guidance) to find the personality test that works for them. They make the case that having a certain level of self-awareness prepares those of all generations for the complicated personalities issues in the modern workplace. “New Gens,” a term coined by Hamilton and Rothpletz, includes Gen X, Gen Y and the Millennial generations. The authors explain how this unique group has specific expectations in the current working environment. Honing in on the fact that Americans spend a large majority of their time in the office, Hamilton and Rothpletz claim that it is not only encouraged but necessary to find a way to get along with all generations. It is a vastly diverse workplace in 2011 with boomers still working and Millennials soon to be taking their place. With Hamilton’s and Rothpletz’s sound advice new workers will be geared up for career success. A fun, entertaining, inspiring read, It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace, is a must-have for job seekers and survivors in today’s every-changing work environment.

Hamilton has taken it to the next level this year, offering three informative reads. With her work, readers can navigate the often scary and unchartered world of careers. The US is the land of dreams and opportunities. Authors like Hamilton can help guide readers to improve their potential. Careers can be fun. Careers can be reinvented. Most importantly—dreams are attainable. Dr. Diane Hamilton has proven that.

About the Authors:
Diane Hamilton currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses for six online universities. Along with her teaching experience, she has a Doctorate Degree in Business Management and more than twenty-five years of business and management-related experience. She is a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor as well as a certified Emotional Intelligence trainer.

Toni Rothpletz has a Bachelor Degree in Global Business Marketing and is currently working on receiving her MBA. She currently works as a business developer/sales executive in the computer industry. Her background includes working in several industries including computer software, identity theft, and social networking organizations.

To find out more about their writing or to schedule an interview, visit Dr. Hamilton’s website at http://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/.

Review copies are available.

The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything you Need to Know to be a Successful College Online Student by Diane Hamilton—August 2010 ($14.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742808

How to Reinvent Your Career: Make More Money Doing What You Love by Diane Hamilton—September 2010 ($16.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742815

It’s Not You It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace by Diane Hamilton and Toni Rothpletz–December, 2010 ($19.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742839 Approximately 220 pages

PR Contact:
Rebecca Crowley, RTC Publicity
649-619-1178
rebecca@rtcpublicity.com

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2011 Top 10 Things You Should Not Put On Your Resume

image via google.com

In a tough economy, many people are trying to perfect their resumes.  It is a very competitive market out there, with many competing for the few coveted jobs.  It is important not to make the mistake of including inappropriate information in your resume or cover letter as this is the first thing that companies use to judge you.

I read an interesting article about whether you should include your MBTI and IQ results on your resume.  AskaManager.com didn’t think this was a good idea explaining, “Resumes are for listing your accomplishments; they’re not for personal traits. Listing that you’re an “ESTJ” does give me some information about you, but it doesn’t tell me what you’ve achieved and experienced, which is what I’m looking for when I look at your resume.” 

This made me think about all of the resumes I’ve screened that had inappropriate information listed on them.  Here is my top list of things you should never include on your resume:

  1. Age, weight, height, religion, race, political affiliation, pets, marital status and other personal information
  2. Salary requirements
  3. Inappropriate email names (example:  Toosexy at blahblah.com)
  4. Medical issues
  5. High School Information, High School Memberships
  6. Photograph
  7. Personal negative feelings about a position or employer
  8. Hobbies or activities that imply religious affiliation
  9. IQ, EQ, Personality Results, Mensa, GPA
  10. Overly large or busy fonts and colors on resume and cover page

Some career sites note that the objective and reference sections are not a good addition.  I don’t personally think those are as much of a problem.  In fact, I think an objective statement can help if a person’s past jobs aren’t in line with the job they are hoping to obtain. Including the phrase “References Available Upon Request” is still acceptable although not required.  It is not correct to actually list the people being used as references unless they are requested.

Are Employers Trying to Trick You In the Interview? Helpful Answer to a Popular Difficult Question

 

There is a lot of advice about how to ace the job interview.  The book, How to Reinvent Your Career, lists many helpful tools, site links and examples to help with this.

One of the main things that employers want to find out is if you are a positive person that has the ability to overcome challenges.  Jobs.AOL.com had an interesting article about how to answer questions about your greatest weakness.  Some may look at these questions as tricks in order to get you to say something negative about yourself.  Others may look at these types of questions and answers as a sort of game.

Jobs.AOL did give some good advice about how to handle these types of questions. They suggested that it might not be a good idea to say your greatest weakness is that you work too hard.  They also thought it is not a good idea to say you don’t have any weaknesses.  So how do you answer this without looking weak?  They suggest, “Pick a real weakness from your occupational tool set that you know has no bearing on the job you are interviewing for. The interviewer will acknowledge that you were honest with them, and will likely consider your “greatest weakness” to be meaningless to him. You should also mention that you are studying or taking a class to improve in this area. For example, a computer programmer might say that she wishes to improve her public speaking skills and is attending Toastmasters for training. By including your plan for overcoming this “weakness,” you have actually turned your answer into a pseudo-strength: You recognize your faults and set a plan for self-improvement. A very good quality.”

Millennials Education and Workplace Success – Improving Emotional Intelligence

In 2010, research from Pew Center showed Millennials were not only the happiest of workers but they were also considered the most educated generation in history.  JustMeans.com reported, “Approximately 1-in-5 Millennials are college graduates while 26% are in school, and 30% are out of school but have plans to pursue a college degree. Some Millennials work, and others are in school– 24% do both and are employed while seeking an education. According the Pew Center, Millennials who are older and employed may be “the happiest workers in America.” More than one-third of employed Millennials describe their job satisfaction as “very happy,” while 29% of Baby Boomers and 27% of Gen Xers feel the same way.”

Even well-educated generations may not be savvy in all areas that could lead to their success at work.  Part of what makes a successful and happy worker is having the ability to get along with coworkers, having strong interpersonal skills and being emotionally intelligent.  The book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, addresses all of these important areas.  By understanding personalities and the psychology behind “why” people act the way they do, Millennials and all generations have a better chance of success at work and beyond.

A big part of understanding relationships and personalities is to understand emotional intelligence.  Authors such as Daniel Goleman have shown that one’s Emotional Quotient or EQ may be considered as important as one’s IQ.  Phoenix.Edu explained the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace:  “Emotions play a primary role in both conscious and unconscious decisions. It is often easy to be reactive instead of proactive, and in the workplace, if the wrong choice is made, this can quickly lead into a danger zone. An inability to keep emotions in check can result in problematic issues that can either harm the individual’s career or tarnish the reputation of an organization. Examples of situations where emotions can come into effect are conflict management, colleague tension, dealing with irate customers, organizational power struggles, negotiations, competition, organizational resistance to change and even coping with managers who bully.”

To find out more about understanding personalities and emotional intelligence in the workplace, click here.

Millennials Replacing Baby Boomer Workforce: Meeting Their Unique Needs

Big changes are occurring in the current workforce.  The dynamic is shifting as companies are experiencing a shift toward millennials replacing baby boomer generations. According to Harvard Business Review /HBR.org, “The makeup of the global workforce is undergoing a seismic shift: In four years Millennials—the people born between 1977 and 1997—will account for nearly half the employees in the world. In some companies, they already constitute a majority.” 

The book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, addresses the unique personalities and needs of the post-boomer worker.  For simplicity sake, these post-boomer generations are given the title NewGens.  It can get confusing when Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials and other titles are used.  The term NewGens encompasses all of these groups. 

Post-boomer generations have received a bad reputation at times due to their need for immediate gratification.  Perhaps they are different but different isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many have high expectations but are willing to put forth the efforts it takes to achieve their goals. HBR.org reported, “Millennials have high expectations of their employers—but they also set high standards for themselves. They’ve been working on their résumés practically since they were toddlers, because there are so many of them and so few (relatively speaking) spots at top schools and top companies. They’re used to overachieving academically and to making strong personal commitments to community service. Keep them engaged, and they will be happy to overachieve for you.”

image via hbr.org

This new group of employees has considerable knowledge that can be crucial for a company’s success.  Younger generations, unlike the boomer generation, tend to move around in their jobs more often.  They are less likely to remain in a single company throughout their career. 

Are companies doing enough to keep their current employees happy?  Workforce.com stated the following about the millennial generation, “Large companies don’t move fast enough for that generation, which is [switching employers and] looking to expose themselves to new and different things. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show the average American will have 10.8 jobs from age 18 to 42. Many workers have clung to their jobs amid the recession and high unemployment. Still, the overall turnover rate across all industries was 16.3 percent in 2009, according to a survey from Compdata.”

Part of keeping this younger generation interested in staying at their current position is to keep their attention.   Training must be aimed at their specific needs.  This is a technology-based group that likes to learn that way.  They also like to receive their information quickly.  Shorter, 3-5 minute training videos, can be effective.  This is the YouTube generation and employers must realize this and keep up with the trends. 

Aimglobal.org suggests the following guidelines for employers when dealing with millennial workers:

Ø Training. If you want a job well done, employers need to tell Millennials how to do it. However, don’t just give orders. Millennials want to know the reasoning behind them and the training offered to be successful.

Ø Mentoring. Partner your new Millennial with one of your veterans. The veteran can show the newcomer the ropes and conversely the newcomer can offer fresh ideas.

Ø Integration. Involve Millennials in a variety of projects, assignments, and career opportunities. Mixing it up keeps their interest.

Ø Team Collaboration. Millennials are comfortable in team settings. They like to collaborate with others especially on team-based projects and environments.

Ø Support Future Pursuits. During their employment at your company, Millennials will face decisions regarding the next stage of their lives including marriage, buying a house, having children, etc. Developing a guidance program around these changes demonstrates how your company will be there to support them.

For more complete information on post-boomer generations in the workplace and how to deal with their unique personality needs, click here

Dwight Schrute is an Obsessive Pleaser: It’s Not You It’s Your Personality Gives Readers Insight into What Makes People Tick

PRweb Press Release – It might be obvious that Dwight Schrute is a control freak. But, who knew that Chris Rock was an introvert? Understanding how to read personalities is important according to mother and daughter co-authors, Dr. Diane Hamilton and Toni Rothpletz. They blow the lid off what many thought they knew about personalities in their latest book: It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality. This is the ultimate handbook for understanding the inner-workings of not just celebrities—but co-workers, friends and family. Chris Rock, like many celebrity comedians is, indeed, an introvert according to a popular personality test. Are people prepared to work with the Rock and Schrute personalities of the world? Hamilton and Rothpletz help answer some important personality quandaries like this as well as: How should people interact with introverts? Does the boss’s birth order matter? How does one climb the corporate ladder of success by developing emotional intelligence?

There’s no question that Diane and Toni are the type of authors that readers would want to hang out with. It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality is as fun of a read as the title dictates. It takes readers on a journey through the many ways one can analyze personalities. Along the way, a lot is learned about the personalities of celebrities, coworkers, friends and family. The Myers-Briggs personality test, also created by a mother-daughter team, indicates Ari Gold of “Entourage” fame has the personality trait of a “thinker.” Though not all thinkers are cold-hearted, the “thinker” is all business. There is no time to worry about how others are reacting. Truly, however, even Ari has a soft side—or viewers wouldn’t continue watching. People, including Ari, have different personality preferences. Even a “thinker” may sometimes be a “feeler,” depending on the circumstances.

“With It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality we are taking what would normally be a tough topic to address—personalities—and making it fun and light-hearted,” says co-author Dr. Diane Hamilton, “The celebrities we know and love are out there to analyze, so why not have fun with the personality name game?”

It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality is geared toward the new generation of workers, those generally born in the late 70s and beyond who are currently in the workforce. This generation, dubbed by Hamilton and Rothpletz as the “NewGens,” is taking a large chunk of the job force as baby boomers are set to retire. As cited in the book, companies far and wide are now trying to find new ways to train and interact with the NewGens. Personality tests abound. Which ones are the right ones? How can these assessments be used for success?

“We recommend that you get a jump start on knowing your place in the office environment before you land that job,”says co-author Toni Rothpletz, “There are plenty of free tests out there. Being ready to deal with people is half the battle at any job on a day to day basis. By giving celebrity examples of personalities in our book, our hope was to better explain people’s individual preferences, while still entertaining the reader.”

There is a noted severe uniqueness of very strong personalities in the NewGen community. Even with the advent of technology, people are the most valuable asset. Turnover costs money. Hiring the wrong person (or personality) costs money. Job hunters that know themselves the best, are setting themselves up for success because ultimately how they handle themselves on a day-to-day basis is what will get them ahead in the long term.

So what about the personality preferences of Chris Rock, Ari Gold or Dwight Schrute? Bottom-line is it doesn’t matter the personality—certain things cannot be changed. However, the way people interact can be changed. Knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses is the key to advancing from even the seedling of a career.

To find out more about their writing or to schedule an interview, visit Dr. Hamilton’s website at http://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/.

Review copies are available.

It’s Not You It’s Your Personality –December, 2010 ($19.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742839 Approximately 220 pages

Rebecca Crowley – PR Contact – 649-619-1178

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Employers Embracing Online Education

How do employers view online degrees?

Online degrees are often in the news.  When I first began teaching online, there were far fewer schools offering an online education.  This led to some negative interpretations when employers were considering applicants with an online education.  

Thankfully it is 2011 and people are waking up! In today’s AOLjobs.com article, the author noted, “While online degrees were once largely seen as being second-rate, recent studies have reported that employers are not only more open to, but are even showing a favorable sentiment toward candidates with online degrees these days. Besides the increase in reputation these programs are experiencing, online degrees have also become so popular, that if employers were to disregard candidates with such degrees, they’d also be disqualifying a significant portion of the work force.”

How popular is online learning? According to Campustechhnology.com, “Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years.”  

With the growth of the Internet, the ease of accessibility to computers and the flexibility that the online environment affords students, online learning has become more popular than ever. The advantages of not having to buy gas to get to class, not having find a car park or pay for parking, and being able to attend class at any time of the day or night have all contributed to its popularity.

A large percentage of students who are studying online are working on their associates, but there are baccalaureate, master, and doctoral programs available online as well. Much of the growth that has occurred in online learning has happened since 1999. With the recent changes in the economy, online classes have seen a surge in enrollment. “Bad economic times have often been good for education, either because decreased availability of good jobs encourages more people to seek education instead, or because those currently employed seek to improve their chances for advancement by pursuing their education” (Sloan, 2008).

There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.”

If you are thinking about going back to school in 2011, check out some of the following articles for more advice:

QR Code: Why You Should Be Using It to Promote You, Your Business and Products

QR Code or Quick Response Code is a two-dimension matrix code developed in the mid 90’s in Japan.  Businesses are drawn to it because it offers an improvement over barcodes.  Wisegeek explains, “QR Code contains data in both vertical and horizontal directions, whereas a bar code has only one direction of data, usually the vertical one. QR Code can also correspondingly hold more information. QR Code is easily digested by scanning equipment, and because it has potentially twice the amount of data as bar code, it can increase the effectiveness of such scanning. QR Code can handle alphanumeric character, symbol, binary, and other kinds of code. QR Code can hold up to 7,089 characters in a single symbol. ”

QR Code has become increasingly popular with the use of cell phones.  I recommend checking out an article by Searchengineland.com to see some video demonstrations.  A code can easily be generated on sites like Kaywa.com.  If you are wondering if search engines like Google will be able to recognize them, “If you add them to your website, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly. At some point soon, the search engines will likely recognize QR codes and possibly index the content in them.”

There are several recommended uses for the QR Code but one that I found to be interesting was that you could add one to your business card.  People would then be able to scan your information directly into their cell phone contact database.

Some other recommended uses may be to add them to media ads.  This simple little code could communicate product, contact, offer, and event information as well as coupons and social media links.

Related Articles:

10 Ways to Market Yourself as a Product to Get the Job

 

The following is from Anne McCauley’s article  for CareerConnectors.net.  To see the whole article and the 10 step process that was discussed at this meeting, go to the article by clicking here.

Do you feel overlooked by prospective employers?  Maybe you are and could consider Marketing Yourself as a Product.  This week at the Gilbertevent Dr. DianeHamiltonspoke to more than 100 job seekers about ten ways to market yourself to get the job.  Dr. DianeHamiltonis the author of several books including How to Reinvent Your Career and It’s Not You, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality.  If you missed her presentation, borrow copies of her books from the local library; her presentation was based in part on her books.

Click here for the information from Dr. Diane Hamilton’s talk.

55 Important Technology Terms You Should Know if You Are Starting a New Job

Many people are starting new jobs right now.  Many of them are working with technology or using terminology that they may never have had to use in the past.  Managers and co-workers may toss around words that they assume people already know.  It is imported that people are prepared for this and be proactive in their learning effort.  The following is a list of some of the technology terms people should probably know. (For more terms, check out webopedia.com. That site contains a lot more “techy” terms than the average worker may not need to know, but their site is very comprehensive and a good resource to have.)

Affiliate Marketing – A marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

AOV – Average Order Value.

Below and above the fold – Where an ad is displayed on the website and you have to scroll down to see the ad.

Blog Roll – It is a list of links to blogs that a blogger likes.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of initial visitors to a site who bounce away to a different site, rather than continuing on the current site.

CES – Customer Effort Score.

Cloud Computing – Sharing resources rather than having your own servers to do it.

CLV – Client Retention Rate.

Container Tags – Used to affect a certain portion of your material. Container tags operate on the material between the opening tag < tag> and the closing tag </ tag>.

Cookie – A message your web browser uses to identify you and remember information for each time the browser goes back to access the server that gave it the cookie/message.

CPA – Cost per action – the publisher is taking most of the advertising risk, as their commissions are dependent on good conversion rates.

CPC – Cost per click.  Advertisers pay for their ad when someone clicks on it.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management – Managing a company’s relationships with customers and clients.

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – Operating a business in a socially responsible and ethical manner to have a positive impact on society.

CTR – Clickthrough Rate – A way of measurer success of an online advertising campaign. Take the number of people who clicked on an ad and divide by the number of times an ad was delivered (also known as impressions).

CV – Curriculum Vitae – Used instead of a resume.  It is a written description of work and experience commonly used by professors and outside of the US.

Data Feed – Users receive updated data from data sources.

Day-Parting – Showing an ad at a specific time of the day.

DM – Abbreviation for direct message.

DMA – Designated Marketing Area (ties in with geo-targeting).

Dongle – A mechanism like a hardware key that only authorized users can use software.

DSPs – Demand-side Platform – DSPs centralized management of accounts and reporting and a central hub for handling data to help with the real-time bidding valuation.

Ethernet – is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs).

Forum – An online discussion group.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language – Uses markup tags to describe web pages.

IAB – Internet Advertising Bureau.

iFrame – An HTML structure that allows another HTML document to be put into an HTML page – iFrames are set up as a window frame.

ISP – Internet Service Provider.

Jitter – Flickering on a display screen.

Modem – A device that modulates a signal so that you can receive data.

Nanotechnology – The study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale.

NPS – Net Promoter Score – Defines the loyalty of a customer relationship.

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer – Company manufacturers’ products are sold under the purchaser of that product’s brand name. The original company that manufactured the product is the OEM.

PA – You may hear someone say “talk to my PA”, referring to their Personal Assistant.

PC Suite – A software package used to establish an interface between Nokia mobile devices and computers that run Microsoft Windows operating system.

PING – As in Ping me back – Used a variety of ways.  Usually means to instant message or email someone back.  The word ping in the technology world is actually short for Packet Internet Groper, a utility used to check for network areas.

Plog – A political blog.

Quicktag – A button that inserts HTML in to your post.

RTB – Real Time Bidding.

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend.

ROI – Return on Investment.

Router – A device that decides where information should be forwarded.

RSS – Real Simple Syndication – If you want to receive information from a specific website, you can click on the RSS feed button and have updates from that site show up on your RSS reader such as Google Reader.

Sales Deck – Your sales presentation/slides you present to the customer.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Improving the ability to be seen on a website by search engines.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – A form of marketing to promote a website through increasing visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Time Shifting – Refers to recording programming for later use.

Toggle – Toggling means to switch from one setting to another. It implies there are only two settings.  Think of a light switch that clicks on or clicks off.

Twaffic – Twitter traffic.

Twishing – The act of sending a message to a Twitter user in an attempt to obtain his or her name and password. Think Tweeting and Fishing combined.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator – The address of a file on the Internet.  Think – http://

View Throughs (also known as Post-Impressions)  – If an ad on a site influenced consumers to search, then purchase a product,  the referrer gets credit for influencing the purchase behavior.

WAP – Wireless Access Point – A device that allows wireless communication. It usually connects to a router.

Wiki – A website that allows a lot of people to add to the content for collaboration.  Think – Wikipedia.

XML – Extensible Markup Language.

There are so many terms; it is hard to just pick 55.  Please feel free to respond and add any words that you feel are just as important to be aware of in today’s workforce.

What is Your Favorite Celebrity’s Personality Type? See How Your Personality Compares to Theirs

Have you ever wondered if you shared a personality type with a famous celebrity?  While it is very important to learn about our own personalities, it can also be very helpful to learn about other people’s personalities as well.  By looking at famous celebrities and their personality types, it can help us recognize qualities that we may possess that can be helpful or hurtful to our own success.

People are often described as being introverts or extroverts.  How can you tell which one you are?  One way is to answer the following question:  Do you find that you often speak before you have had a chance to really think about what it is you want to say?  If so, you may be an extrovert.  Extroverts are often thought of as outgoing because they can be talkative. They can be talkative because they are processing what they are thinking out loud. You might think that Hollywood celebrities must be extroverts.  That is not necessarily true.

Think about how you prefer to process information.  If you think as you are speaking rather than taking time to process the information, you might be an extrovert.  If you are an extrovert, here are some famous people that share your personality type:

  • Matthew Perry
  • Tom Hanks
  • Oprah
  • Johnny Depp
  • Robin Williams
  • Bill Cosby
  • Jim Carrey
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Bruce Willis
  • Madonna

There are actually more extroverts in the world than introverts.  Introverts like to take their time to develop their thoughts before they speak.  If you prefer to process information this way, you may be an introvert.  There are far more introverts in Hollywood than you might expect.  If you are an introvert, here are some famous people that share your personality type:

  • Michael Jackson
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Britney Spears
  • Brooke Shields
  • Ashton Kutcher
  • Julia Roberts
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Lady Gaga
  • Tom Cruise

There are a lot of different personality tests out there that give information about personality preferences.  The previous examples of introverts and extroverts are a part of what the Myers-Briggs MBTI personality test can explain about our personalities.

There are plenty of other assessments that can give insight to who you are.  A lot has been written about birth order, and how it affects personality.  Are you a first-born child?  Then you may be interested in learning that the following celebrities are also first-borns:

  • Jessica Simpson
  • Nick Lachey
  • Josh Hartnett
  • Sylvester Stallone

If you are a middle child, you share that in common with the following celebrities:

  • Elijah Wood
  • Bill Gates
  • Jay Leno
  • Princess Diana

If you are the youngest, you may be interested in seeing which celebrities were last-born children:

  • Halle Berry
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Whoopi Goldberg

If you are an only child, you may relate to these celebrities:

  • Freddie Prinze, Jr.
  • Alicia Keys
  • Tiger Woods
  • Natalie Portman

To find out more about how to analyze your own personality as well as those in others, check out the book: It’s Not You It’s Your Personality.  Millennials and post-boomer groups should be able to relate to many of the examples in the book.  Some of the top personality assessments are explained, along with celebrity examples so that you can visualize the personality traits.  The following personality assessments are also discussed in the book:

You might have noticed that emotional intelligence is covered in the book. Part of being emotionally intelligent is having the ability to understand your own emotions and personality as well as those in others.  The book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, includes a fun way to develop your personality skills.  You can also learn tolerance of others’ personalities, while being able to compare your own traits to some famous celebrities as well.

Gaining the Competitive Edge in this Economy May be Based on How Well You Know Your Personality

In a fun, light-hearted manner, dynamic mother and daughter duo, Dr. Diane Hamilton and Toni Rothpletz, share with readers their insight on the importance of understanding personalities. People and their different personalities are what make the workplace fun. Using tried and true personality tests can put modern workers ahead of the game—and ultimately make them successful in their career endeavors. In their just-released book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace, Hamilton and Rothpletz desire to not only have their book be informative, but have readers laugh along the way.

Now Available on Amazon

Quote startThe latest book by Diane Hamilton and Toni Rothpletz helps you become more aware of yourself and puts YOU in charge of your life. ~Mark R. Grandstaff, PhD Award-Winning Scholar, Clinton Appointee, CEO Renaissance ThinkersQuote end

New York, NY (PRWEB) December 8, 2010

What drives the economy? People. People are behind every transaction. Business leaders will be the first to say that the most costly thing in business is personnel turnover. Unemployment is at 9.7%. This has led to an unstable work environment filled with a diverse group of workers. No matter what age, it is necessary to understand the different personality types that workers possess. For post-Baby Boomer generations, it can be a challenge to educate them about personality assessment, while still maintaining their interest. The recently released book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace, may have the solution.

There is an undying stratification in how the “new generation” of workers relate to their older peers. Technology sets them apart. A feeling of entitlement is out there for many workers. Each experience in life creates the personality a worker brings to the table. Dr. Diane Hamilton and co-author daughter, Toni Rothpletz, argue that if Americans want to be successful, it’s time to look inside and find out what inherently makes them tick. The authors explain how to do this in their fun and sometimes irreverent look at the current workplace.

It is essential for people to understand their own personality and to realize the impact their interactions may have on others. This is becoming increasingly more important as business owners and managers look to keep harmony among workers. Morale is important and if there is friction among personalities, managers are forced to make some tough decisions.

“Toni and I believe that it is the worker’s responsibility to know their own personality and how their responses may be judged by others,” says Hamilton, “If anything, this economy has shown us that it is essential that we take ownership of our roles in the workplace. We wrote this book to help the modern worker learn some important personality skills while still having fun in the process.”

Personality tests can be an informative tool. Myers-Briggs, DISC, The Big Five, Birth Order, Color Tests, Emotional Intelligence and other top personality tests are used by employers to assess potential and current employees. Hamilton and Rothpletz argue that it gives workers a leg up to have these powerful self-learning mechanisms. There are so many personality assessments, it can get confusing to know which one to research. It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality explains the top assessments and shows readers that learning about themselves and their coworkers can be a lot of fun.

Mother/daughter team of Hamilton and Rothpletz, set out to edutain (educate and entertain) their post-Baby Boomer working world audience. If someone has ever wondered how their personality compared to famous celebrities like Lady Gaga or Johnny Depp, they may get some answers. However, one of the most valuable things they will learn from this book is why these personality tests are so important to their success and future ability to get ahead in the working world.

About the Authors:
Diane Hamilton currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses for six online universities. Along with her teaching experience, she has a Doctorate Degree in Business Management and more than twenty-five years of business and management-related experience. She is a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor as well as a certified Emotional Intelligence trainer.

Toni Rothpletz has a Bachelor Degree in Global Business Marketing and is currently working on receiving her MBA. She currently works as a business developer/sales executive in the computer industry. Her background includes working in several industries including computer software, identity theft, and social networking organizations.

To find out more about their writing or to schedule an interview, visit Dr. Hamilton’s website at http://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/.

Review copies are available.

It’s Not You It’s Your Personality–December, 2010 ($19.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742839 Approximately 220 pages

# # #

Have you Googled Yourself Lately? Why LinkedIn and Google are Important for Your Job Search

If you are looking for a job, you probably have looked at getting on LinkedIn and some other social networking sites.  If you have created a LinkedIn profile, it should show up on Google’s search engine. 

In some recent talks I gave to job-seekers, I asked my audience if they had Googled themselves.  Surprisingly, not as many people as you may think have done this.   In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I discuss the importance of Googling your name to see what it displays.   You can be sure that employers will do this.

It is nice that search engines like Google can help people find you.  One way to help improve being found is to be on LinkedIn.  There are other benefits to being on LinkedIn. According to a recent article in WSJ.com, “One of the least recognized aspects of LinkedIn, says founder Reid Hoffman, is the fact that it allows people to help other people.” I personally like the Q&A feature of LinkedIn for this reason.  Not only can you ask a question, but you can offer your expertise and help others. 

According to Hoffman, Linkedin is an important part of the career search.  I agree.  He also asked an important question: “There are millions of other people out there. What do you do to put yourself in the right place for people to find you?”

I often give advice for things you can do to be found.  LinkedIn is high on my list.  However, if you are interested in finding out more ways to be found, check out some of my career videos

How to Get a Job by Understanding  Emotional Intelligence

How to Get a Job by Utilizing a SWOT Analysis

How to Get a Job by Utilizing Camtasia and Powerpoint

How to Market Yourself by Using Social Media

How to Ace the Job Interview by Understanding Introverts and Extroverts

For those of you who have taken a Myers-Briggs MBTI personality assessment, you may already know if you are an introvert or extrovert.  It gets confusing to some as many say extrovert.  Myers-Briggs uses the term extravert.  What is important is that you understand the differences between how introverts and extroverts/extraverts prefer to process information.  Why is this important to acing the job inteview?  Watch the video below for more answers.

Marlo Thomas Asks What Would You Do Differently – My Answer is Nothing

I was just watching a video by Marlo Thomas where she was asking people what they would do differently knowing what they know now.  In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I included a chapter about this very subject.  The following is an excerpt from that chapter where I discuss why I don’t think that many things we choose are really mistakes because they have led us to where we need to be now.

Think about the choices you made when you were young. Would you choose the same things now? Maybe not. Maybe you weren’t ready to take on the things you can now do. I doubt I would have been as good a professor if I hadn’t had the 25-plus years of experience in the working world to help me add to my lectures and discussions. 

Perhaps that degree you got in Sociology or Education or some other field no longer interests you. Perhaps you need to go back and get more education in a new area of interest. People change and interests change. It’s OK to say that what you were interested in when you were 20 is not the same thing that interests you now.

One of the reasons we change is through the life lessons we learn. We may take a job that leads to another job that we had no intention of doing in the first place, but makes us much happier than we thought it would. You have to factor life experiences into the equation of what brought you to the place you are right now.

How to Get a Job: Why Employers Value Emotional Intelligence

Check out why it is so important to understand how your emotional intelligence may impact your ability to get a job.  If you are interested in reading the book by Daniel Goleman that I refer to here, it is called Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ.   In our book,  It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the major personality tests that employers use.  We include a very detailed chapter about the importance of understanding emotional intelligence in the workplace.  

How to Get a Job Using a Personal SWOT Analysis

In a recent talk I gave to CareerConnectors, we discussed how you can use a personal SWOT analysis to help you realize your strengths and weaknesses.  This information can be very helpful  in determining things to put on your resume and can also help you discover areas where you may need to improve.

How to Get a Job Showcasing Your Abilities Using Camtasia, Powerpoint and Youtube

In my presentation yesterday at the CareerConnectors.Net workshop, I presented several different examples of how to market “you” as the product in order to get a job. If you are interested in learning how to use Camtasia with Powerpoint to promote your abilities and showcase them on Youtube, check out the following video based on information in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career:  Make Money Doing What You Love.  I am definitely going to be looking for a new video recorder though as this one crunched the screen, making it and me more compressed and wide.  If anyone has a good recommendation for a video recorder, I’d like to hear about it. . .

WordPress To Introduce New Stats Features For Authors

 

Many blogs on WordPress are large enough that they have several authors writing for them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see which author is bringing in the most views?  Well now you can. 

According to TimesoftheInternet.com, “Now, WordPress is introducing a stats feature which will allow the admin to see which posts are profitable and which authors are bringing in the most profit. This way, they can ask their authors to change their styles to bring in more profit for the site. This is one feature that is very useful for WordPress blog admins. They can easily manage their top authors from their dashboard and make necessary changes.This feature should be available very soon, probably in the next beta release of WordPress.  So if you’re running a WordPress blog, you could make good use of this feature which will help you manage your site authors.”

New Email Program is the Big Secret that Facebook has Been Keeping … Dubbed Gmail Killer

 

image via blogs.bgsu.edu

Dubbed the Gmail killer, Facebook’s new email program is to launch on Monday.  There has been talk about a secret product from Facebook and this appears to be the secret.  As people are jumping from the AOL ship, Google, Yahoo and other email providers are concerned that Facebook could take away their business.

Top 15 Jobs in America

In researching information for my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I found it interesting to see the types of jobs that are no longer on the market due to changes in technology.  Just as jobs are disappearing, others are being created as well.  If you are interested in seeing what the top most popular jobs in the US are, check out the recent article by jobs.AOL.  According to their report the top 15 jobs include:

1.  Retail Sales

2.  Cashiers

3.  Office Clerks

4.  Food Preparation and Service Workers

5.  Registered Nurses

6.  Waiters and Waitresses

7.  Customer Service Reps.

8.  Material Movers

9.  Janitors

10.  Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

11.  Secretaries

12. Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks

13. General Managers

14.  Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

15.  Elementary School Teachers

To find out more specifics about what these jobs pay and education requirements, check out the article by clicking here.

Find Out How Much Jobs Pay

imagevia sixapart.com
In a presentation I gave the other night, someone in the audience asked if there was any questions you should not ask in the job interview.  One thing that many career experts will tell you is not to bring up money.  How then, are you supposed to know if the job is something you even should be considering?  There is a way to get an idea of what you can expect in terms of pay from a specific company.  The site is SimplyHired.  I used to use Salary.com quite a bit when I worked in loans and underwriting.  What is nice about SimplyHired, though,  is that it gives some more specific information about individual companies. 
 
I thought I would put it to the test by looking  AstraZeneca.  I chose that company since I worked there for so many years and was curious about the accuracy of SimplyHired.  This is what they showed:

Average Astrazeneca Salaries in AZ

 

astrazeneca

$65,000    

Average Google Salaries in AZ

 

google

$52,000    

For GoDaddy:

Average Go Daddy Salaries in AZ

 

go daddy

$20,000    
 
For Insight:

Average Insight Salaries in AZ

 

insight

$64,000    

 

Be Your Own “Dream Career” Advocate, Reinvent Your Social Network

Phoenix AZ—November 11, 2010— Guidance is a powerful thing and an important thing to seek from all sources when considering career change.  In her new book, How to Reinvent Your Career, Dr. Diane Hamilton does just that. She guides her readers through the process of self-promotion, something truly essential for landing that “dream” job.

Dr.  Hamilton has been advising her students regarding career opportunities for 5 years. She wants them to be marketable, relevant to the times and ultimately successful.  However, this isn’t any job hunt. This is a reinvention. Readers are using Diane’s tools to find complete job satisfaction.  The number one rule is when interviewing for a dream job is to understand the ability of how to show prospective employers   the benefits (not to be confused with features) that you offer.

Dr. Hamilton points out that Linked-in.com can be thought of as the Facebook for professionals. It is a way to get “connected” or “linked-in” with people online.   New users can create a profile showcasing their unique abilities and strengths. Some may see it as an online resume but it is so much more than that, as it can be tailored to emphasize your strengths and assets and be used to interact with potential connections.

“Networking is not contrived cocktail parties anymore,” says Hamilton, “The future is online—and that should not be a scary place. To stay current, you have to create your ‘brand,’ the heart of your profile, online.”

Once the profile is complete, it’s time to connect!  It must be continually updated to obtain the maximum benefit.  Just joining is not enough.  You must actively participate for optimal success.  Anytime a user gathers someone’s business card, it is crucial to connect with him or her the next day.  Linked-in is a way to keep a database of people who could be mutually beneficial contacts for the duration of the user’s entire career.

For job seekers Linked-in is partially about staying current, but most importantly a way to show not only skills but benefits: the total package. When changing careers it is vital to self-promote, showing that you are more than a set of skills but an asset to the team at that “dream job.”

“Link-in” with Dr. Diane Hamilton: www.linkedin.com/in/drdianehamilton

PR Contact:
Rebecca Crowley, RTC Publicity
646-619-1178
rebecca@rtcpublicity.com


drdianehamilton.com

Google, Facebook, Zynga and Twitter Battle for Talented Employees

In an article in today’s WSJ.com, they discuss how there is a war going on within the top technology firms to attract the best employees. To read the full article, click here.   As noted in the picture below, Google has over 23,000 employees, Facebook 1700, Zynga 1250 and Twitter 300.  Note that percentage increase in employees is strongest for Twitter with a 203% increase, followed by Zynga with a 178% increase, then Facebook with a 70% increase and Google with a 19% increase since last year.

[GOOGHIREjp]
image via online.wsj.com

The Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes

 

Ask Dr. Diane: What are the most common writing mistakes that your students make?

While it is not unusual to see spelling and grammar issues, I’ll assume that readers realize that they should check for such things and just list the top 10 most common other issues I see here. I hope this posting will give some insight into how to set up your papers so that you can avoid making these common mistakes.

  1. Papers not set up with double-spacing – To set your paper to be double-spaced, be sure you are on the home tab in Word and go to the paragraph section of the tool bar.  There is an up and down arrow icon that you can click on.  When you do this, it will give you choices of how to set up your spacing. Pick 2.0 to set double-spacing. 
  2. Papers should not have an extra space between paragraphs – Remember that papers must be double-spaced throughout in APA.  Word sometimes defaults with an extra space between paragraphs.  To change this, click here.
  3. Papers must have headers/numbers set up correctly through the header/number function in Word – To learn how to do this, click here.
  4. Papers must be set up with an introduction/body/conclusion – Your introduction and conclusion need to be strong summaries of what the paper will or has included.  For more about how to write an essay, click here.
  5. Papers should not be written in first person – Remove the “I” or “Me” from your writing. For an explanation of the meaning of first person, click  here.
  6. Citing and References confusion – Citing is the act of quoting a source.  For example:  “Citing is the act of quoting a source.” (Hamilton, 2010)  This is not to be confused with references.  References are included on a separate page with the title References at the top.  You must include references whenever you cite.  The reference explains who deserves credit for the citation.  Many students list references but no citations.  That is not correct.  You need both. 
  7. Paragraph length confusion – Students often either write in overly short or overly long paragraphs.  A good size paragraph is at least 3-4 sentences but should not be so long that it takes up an entire page or more.
  8. Papers should be left justified and not blocked – Students sometimes write in blocked format.  That is not correct.  Papers need to be left justified.  The setting for this is on the home tab under the paragraph part of the toolbar.
  9. Over citing – I see a lot of students who tend to write entire paragraphs of citing and forget to include their own writing in their work.  Although citing is important, it is also important to have your own points and statements.  Remember to make your point and then follow that up with citations to back up what you have written.  As a professor, I am looking to see that you have learned the subject and are not simply restating what others have said.
  10. Forgetting title page – Students often forget to include a title page.  It is very important that all papers include a title page that is correctly formatted in APA format. For helpful examples of APA formatting, click here.

For more help, see the following articles:

15 Ways to Improve Writing Skills for Students and Everyone Else

Removing Extra Spaces Between Paragraphs

How to Add Headers and Page Numbers in Word

APA Style:  5 Essential Tips for APA Style Headings

Citing Long Quotations in APA 6th Edition

Sample APA Paper – 6th Edition

Adding 2 Spaces After a Period to Meet APA 6th Edition Requirements

What is the Difference Between a Citation and a Reference?

Is Wikipedia Reliable?

PowerPoint – Resources and Examples to Make the Perfect Presentation

The Top 100 Vocabulary Words Adults Should Know

Sample APA 6th edition paper in PDF Form

Explanation of First, Second and Third Person Writing

Anthropomorphisms:  When Not to Use Them

Have Some Fun With Common Grammar Mistakes

TerriblyWrite Blog

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

Do you do a lot of Social Networking? Find out What is Different About Rockmelt’s New Browser

 

image via engadget.com

Marc Andreessen, Netscape founder, is backing a new startup browser called Rockmelt.  Rockmelt claims it “does more than just navigate Web pages. It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search.”

The beta version is being made available today and is built around sites like Facebook and Twitter

After 2 years in product, their focus is for those who do a lot of social networking.  According to their blog, “Your friends are important to you, so we built them in. Now you’re able to chat, share that piano-playing-cat video everyone’s going to love, or just see what your friends are up to, regardless of what site you’re on. Your favorite sites are important to you, so we built them in too. Now you can access them from anywhere, without leaving the page you’re on. And RockMelt will tell you when something new happens.”

For more information, check out their video below.

Top 10 Ways to Find a Job or Have a Job Find You

With the current job market, people are looking for unusual ways to stand out in the crowd.  I recently gave a presentation at a local university where I explained the job searching tips I discuss in this article.  To see that actual live presentation, click here.

If you are not utilizing some of the following ways to showcase your talents to prospective employers, you may be missing the boat.  Here is my top 10 list of things you need to be doing if you are looking for a job.

1.  Research Top Career Sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. Look for sites specific to the industry in which you want to work.  For example, there are pharmaceutical-specific sites like Medzilla or higher educational-specific sites like HigheredJobs.  Update your information with each of these sites and set up searches so that jobs are sent to you as they become available.  

2.  Utilize Camtasia and PowerPoint to showcase your abilities.  If you know how to create a PowerPoint presentation, then it can be quite simple to use a software package like Camtasia to have voice-over capabilities to make your presentation have more depth.  These presentations can be showcased on many different sites including your blog or website if you have one.  One of the best places to showcase your talents with the final presentation product is through Youtube. For an example of one I’ve made, click here.

3.  Utilize Youtube to present “you” as a viable product.  If you have created a video or a Camtasia/PowerPoint presentation mentioned previously, Youtube is the place to upload it for maximum exposure.  If you have a skill that is visual such as ability to work in Photoshop, you can create print screens of your work and incorporate them into your presentations. 

4.  Google Docs is very much like PowerPoint but it can be seen by people on the Internet as well as be imported into your Linkedin Profile. To see an example of one I have created, click here.

5.  Prezi is also similar to PowerPoint in that it is presentation software.  The big difference is how it displays your information. This web-based program can show things in a non-linear fashion.  If you haven’t had a chance to view a Prezi presentation, check one out by clicking here.

6.  Blogging is a great way to get your presence known on the Internet.  Sites like WordPress are free and easy to set up.  You can link your blog to several other networking sites to capture the attention of those on Facebook, Twitter and many more sites.

7.  LinkedIn is probably one of the best sites you can use to get exposure to people and showcase your talents.  Utilize their Q&A area to become an expert.  Sign up for groups to meet others that could hook you up with opportunities.  Import your Google Docs, WordPress blogs and other information to showcase your abilities.  Tie your status line into Twitter to get more exposure.

8.  Facebook is also an important place to network. You can create a professional page for your work or display your products that you are promoting. 

9.  Twitter can also be a useful way to have others learn about what you are doing professionally.  Be sure you tie in your other sites links to Twitter.  Use programs like bit.ly to shorter any web addresses to fit your message on Twitter.

10. Old Fashioned Networking is still important.  Always have your business card with you.  Talk to everyone you know and talk to people you don’t know.  If you are sitting by someone on an airplane or standing in line to buy something, you just might find that the person you meet has connections.  Have your business card ready!

For more articles to help you, see:

How to Get a Job Marketing You as the Product

Click on the picture below to watch the video of Dr. Diane Hamilton’s presentation:  “How to Get a Job Marketing You as the Product”:

Marketing Yourself To Get The Job – Career Workshop

CareerConnectors.Net Workshop
Nov. 16 – 9:00 – 11:30 am (Gilbert, AZ)
 

Marketing Yourself as a Product to Get the Job

Agenda

 

 8:45 am       Registration

 9:00 am       Welcome and Intro, Jessica Pierce, JobSeekersAZ

 9:15 am       Marketing Yourself as a Product to Get the Job, Dr. Diane Hamilton

10:15 am      Industry Intelligence, Mary Wolf-Francis, City of Phoenix Workforce Connections

10:30 am      Banner Health is Hiring, Miranda Kistler, Recruiter

10:45 am      Ajilon Professional Staffing is Hiring, Morgan Carlson, Staffing Manager

11:00 am      New York Life in AZ, Emelie Shriner, Recruiter

11:15 am      Closing and Job Leads, Jessica Pierce

11:30 am      Breakout Sessions:  Resumes, LinkedIn, Hiring Companies, Speakers

  

Our jobleads change often, check them out:  CareerConnectors.Net

Follow us on Twitter

Connect to our LinkedIn Group:  CareerConnectors

Friend us on Facebook

 

Facebook Not Just For Fun Any More: Why There’s Even More Reasons For You To Log In

 

Image via mashraqi.com

Think of why you check your Facebook right now?  Is it to see what people are talking about?  Is it to see if it’s your move on Scrabble?  Well, now you have a really good reason to check in.  Facebook just added a new service that will allow you to check for deals on products and services in your area.

Think about it. . . You’re walking along, realizing you need to purchase something.  All you will have to do to find out who is offering special deals in your area now, is to get your iphone or other internet-accessible phone out and check Facebook.

Who is offering the discounts?  According to WJS.com, “GAP, Inc. will be one of the first marquee partners, offering free blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers who check in to their stores on an unannounced date in the near future. Facebook said Starbucks, McDonald’s, Macy’s and Harrah’s will also be offering deals.”

Millennial Job-Seekers Have Unique Expectations

 

Millennials in the workforce are the focus of many articles lately.  I deal a lot with post-boomer generations due to the fact that I teach for several different online universities.  Millennials have been singled-out as having different personality issues. In all three of my books, I address how personality issues affect our expectations and preferences. 

Tomorrow I will be delivering a talk at a local university’s annual forum.  The topic will be, “Obtaining Your Dream Job by Marketing YOU as the Product”.  I often give talks about how to find jobs and market talents. Tomorrow’s topic will be specifically focused on a younger generation.  Many in the audience will be millennials. When talking to post-boomer generations, it is important to realize they have unique expectations.

Many claim that millennials have entitlement issues.  Sixty Minutes did a nice job on a piece they did titled: The Millennials Are Coming.  In that article they stated: You now have a generation coming into the workplace that has grown up with the expectation that they will automatically win, and they’ll always be rewarded, even for just showing up.  

In another interesting article by ere.net, the following questions were actually asked by millennials in job interviews.  

  • If I don’t like my boss, how can I get that changed?
  • How many hours per day will I be expected to work?
  • Do you allow the use of Facebook?
  • If I don’t like my pay, who do I talk to about fixing that?
  • If we do reading for the job, can we do it at the gym during work hours?
  • Who will be my mentor and coach while I’m learning my new job?
  • What does the company do to make work fun?

For anyone that is older than the millennials, these questions may come across as humorous or brazen.  However, they are a good example of how different newer generations may be, in regard to their work expectations. 

In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I explain how newer generations are often seen as the “me” generation.  Jean Twenge did a nice job of addressing this in her book, Generation Me

In my talk tomorrow, I will be discussing the importance that companies put on emotional intelligence when looking at potential new hires.  Part of having emotional intelligence is having the ability to have good interpersonal skills and empathy.  The interviewee must be able to “read” the interviewer and present themselves accordingly. 

Generational differences can be a big issue that many millennials need to be aware of.  Asking questions like the ones listed above may not endear you to the interviewer . . . unless, of course, that interviewer is a millennial with similar expectations as well.  My guess is, that probably won’t be the case. 

If you didn’t see anything wrong with the above list of questions, my suggestion to you is to do some research into proper interviewing etiquette.  I wrote about the mistakes people make in interviews in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career

For more reading, check out articles like:

You May be Looking for a Job . . . But it is Your Emotional Intelligence That Needs Work  

Millennial Workers – New Ways of Doing Things  

How is Your Job Satisfaction? It May Be Based on Your Personality Type 

How is Your Job Satisfaction? It May be Based upon Your Personality Type

If you are having difficulty enjoying your job, recent research indicates that the problem may be due to your personality type.  The research, in November’s issue of The Journal of Psychological Type, is based on the Myers-Briggs MBTI personality assessment instrument and the EQ-i which is an instrument that measures your emotional intelligence level. 

The MBTI breaks down personalities into 16 different types, based on how we prefer to process information.  Those types are listed as follows:

ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP
ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ
 
Each letters has a meaning. The “E” is for extrovert and the “I” is for introvert. The “S” is for sensing and the “N” for Intuition.  The “T” is for thinking and the “F” is for feeling.  The “J” is for judging and the “P” is for perceiving.  It can be very important to know your type as well as the type of others in order to get along in the workplace. In fact, I used to go to organizations to help teach teams about “type” so that they could better understand each other and be more effective.
 
In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I write about many different personality tests.  We emphasized the importance of understanding your MBTI results and emotional intelligence levels to get along in the workplace. 

In the recent issue of The Journal of Psychological Type, the authors found some new things about how our “type” can affect our job satisfaction.  They stated, “Extraverted and Thinking types scored higher on emotional intelligence and job satisfaction than Introverted and Feeling types.  Emotional Intelligence, however, was a more effective predictor of job satisfaction and organizational commitment than were any of the type dichotomies.”

I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence and its impact on performance.  While doing my research, I became a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor also received my certification in emotional intelligence testing. 

If you are not familiar with emotional intelligence, it has been defined in many ways.  I prefer the following definition:  Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions as well as those in others. 

 

If you have not read Daniel Goleman’s books about emotional intelligence, I highly recommend them.  Goleman has made emotional intelligence a popular buzz word in the last 15 or so years.  His work explains the importance that employers put on your emotional quotient (EQ).  In fact, employers may not be more concerned with your EQ than your IQ. 

What do the results of this study mean to you?  The research from Myers-Briggs shows that your basic personality preferences don’t really change.  If you are an extrovert, you probably will remain an extrovert.  However, you can change your emotional intelligence levels.  Goleman has done a great deal of research into this area. 

That is the good news as one’s emotional intelligence played a more important role in one’s job satisfaction and organizational commitment than did the Myers-Briggs personality “type”.  In our book about personalities in the workplace, we discuss the importance of emotional intelligence.

I think it is important to constantly work on developing our EQ.  I became qualified in emotional intelligence by training through Marcia Hughes.  She has written books for ways to improve your EQ. 

The first step to improving your emotional intelligence is reading about what it is.  If you want to improve your EQ, and improve your job satisfaction as demonstrated by this study, I would recommend looking into Daniel Goleman’s books and check out It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:  Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace, due to be released in the next month.

When Companies Don’t Pay Employees: The Ethics of Grinding

With the current state of the economy, many companies are barely making ends meet.  They are low on funds and are finding unfortunate ways to stay afloat.  One of those ways is through grinding their present and past employees.

What is grinding?  Think of the salesperson who is owed a commission from a company but they decide to quit and go somewhere else.  Let’s say the company owes them $20,000 in back commissions.  The ex-employee is still entitled to their commission.  However, some companies may not have the funds or don’t want to pay the commission and stall on the payment.  Meanwhile, the ex-employee is feeling the pain of not having their money and is constantly contacting HR or leadership to find out when it’s coming.

Unfortunately many of these companies play this game for many months before people end up going to lawyers.  The company is betting the ex-employee won’t seek legal representation and even if they do, the corporation has the legal power and funds on their side.  The company may get a threatening letter from lawyers but they know that they have the upper hand and hope that the ex-employee will give up over time, because they will run out of money and patience.

The ex-employee has a better case if they can find others who are not receiving their payments either.  By all of them getting together in a class action suit, their power is increased.

It is illegal for companies not to pay money they owe.  Technically there are labor relations boards that handle complaints.  However, after checking with the local Arizona state labor office, they only will help you with your claim up to $2500.  For a list of state labor offices, please click here.  In Arizona, if your claim is under $2500, they will investigate it and it can take up to 90 days to be resolved.

If your claim is over $2500, they won’t even look at it.  It is then up to you to go through the civil courts which means lawyers, money and time. . .Things that the corporations have on their side.

How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton

For more articles on corporate ethics, check out:

Are Products Really As Green As They Claim

Does Your Boss Want You Dead

CEO Ethics

What is Blekko? Can the SlashTag Search Engine Compete With Google?

 

Blekko promises user-friendly search experience 

image via bigmouthmedia.com

 

Blekko has been in development since 2007, but it has only recently become available to the public. Blekko is a search engine that has its sights on Google’s business. To do this, they are focusing on what they can do differently.

The New York Times reported, “Rich Skrenta, Blekko’s co-founder and chief executive, says that since Google started, the Web has been overrun by unhelpful sites full of links and keywords that push them to the top of Google’s search results but offer little relevant information. Blekko aims to show search results from only useful, trustworthy sites.”

Out of curiosity, I ran Alexa web statistics on Blekko to see how they were doing. Over the last 30 days, their website traffic has increased 12.7%.  Alexa also had the following to report on Blekko, “Blekko.com’s three-month global Alexa traffic rank is 21,705. Search engines refer roughly 11% of visits to the site. The time spent in a typical visit to this site is about four minutes, with 43 seconds spent on each pageview. The site is located in the US. Compared with the overall internet population, Blekko.com appeals more to men; its audience also tends to consist of childless people earning over $60,000 who browse from work and school and have postgraduate educations.”

Blekko uses slashtags to help you get more accurate results. Some are calling Blekko the slashtag search engine because of it. If you are not familiar with slashtags, searchenglineland explains them: “Slashtags are a way that anyone can make a “vertical” search engine around any topic. For those not familiar with the term, a vertical search engine is one that lets you search in a specific area of interest, rather than across the “horizontal” spectrum of all interests. Google is a “horizontal” search engine that lets you search for anything. Google News, in contrast, lets you drill into one slice of interest, news content.”

Think of slashtags as something like this:  drdianehamilton/books.  By doing this search, it pulled up more specific information about my writing.  It can be helpful to make the search more specific.

Why the name Blekko?  Co-founder, Mr. Skrenta, used to refer to his personal computer in college by that name. 

For more information about Blekko, check out the following link from WJS.com.

If you would like to know what Blekko has to offer, check out the following video:

Dr. Diane Hamilton – Tech Forum 2010

 

For those of you  atttending  University of Advancing Technology Tech Forum –  I will be giving a talk about “How to Obtain Your Dream Job And Make More Money Marketing You”  – See:  University of Advancing Technology – Tech Forum 2010.  The talk will be from 5:30-6:30 on November 4, 2010 at UAT.  For more information about the speakers at this seminar, click here.

11 Practical Business Uses for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter: Business Collaboration News

Check out the latest article by gigaom.com.  It contains some very useful suggested uses for some of the more popular social networking sites.  It ties in nicely with what I wrote about in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  This article has to do more with businesses utilizing these sites.  These same tactics can be used for the individual looking to be noticed.

For more articles about utilizing social networking for self-promotion and career advancement, click here.

See Gigaom.com’s list of some basic ways to use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for specific business activities.  To see the eleven uses, click here:  gigaom.com

Which Degree Will Make You The Most Money

 

If you are considering going to school or going back to school, check out some of these figures gathered from over 11,000 graduates.

[MAJORPAY]

Bad Credit Causing More Unemployment

How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton
Think about the person who is trying very hard to find that new job.  They may have missed a few payments due to being out of work.  This has caused their credit to be less than stellar.  If they should find that perfect job, the future employer will run their credit.  If the credit score comes back as low, their chances for getting the job are damaged.  It is a vicious cycle.

Here’s how particular events could affect a person with a 780 credit score and someone with a 680 credit score:

Initial score 780 680
Maxed credit card 735-755 650-670
30-day delinquency 670-690 600-620
Settled a credit card for less than what’s owed 655-675 615-635
Foreclosure 620-640 575-595
Bankruptcy 540-560 530-550

Source: MyFICO.com

The Arizona Republic reported today that The Society of Human Resources Management showed: 60% of employers conducted credit checks on job applicants in 2010.  Of this figure, 47% have done so only for candidates for select jobs and 13% have done so for all job candidates. 

What can you do to avoid having your credit score drop?   Jahna Berry stated the following in today’s Arizona Republic:  “If you’re headed for financial problems, carefully consider how missed mortgage payments, overdue bills or a bankruptcy filing could affect your credit report and your future job prospects, several employment experts said. Seek out help and look for options that will protect your credit.”

What is Google zeitgeist? Searching for Trends and Popularity on the Internet

image via geeksmack.net

Google’s site defines zeitgeist “as, “zeit·geist | Pronunciation: ‘tsIt-“gIst, ‘zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era. “Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times”, and Google reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of search queries we receive every day. We have several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. These tools are available for you to play with, explore, and learn from. Use them for everything from business research to trivia answers.”

If you click here, you can reach the Google zeitgeist site.  Once there, you have access to the following search site links:

Google Trends  

Website Trends 

Insights for Searches 

Hot Trends 

I tend to set up the Google news search function in iGoogle to find out about buzz words and things I am interested in at the time.  However, these sites can help you find out even more about what people really are searching for on the Internet.  I like the “insight for searches”  because you can create lists of specific words to find out popularity of topics in different regions.  Hot trends can also be helpful to give you an idea of what is popular throughout the day.

Does the New Facebook Movie Imply Zuckerberg has Asperger’s?

image via nypost.com

There has been some buzz on the Internet about Zuckerberg’s psychological state for years now.  The release of the movie, The Social Network, only has added to the discussion.  There is one scene in which they show Zuckerberg sitting in a meeting where he is making continuous popping noises with his mouth. 

Those of you who have seen Boston Legal may recall a popping sound made the character, Jerry Espenson, played by Christian Clemenson.  The show’s character had asperger’s syndrome and was unable to stop making the popping sounds.  The portrayal of Zuckerberg in the scene where he “pops” may be implying there is something more going on with him. 

One could simply watch that scene and think he is just being rude.  It also could  just be something that Hollywood added to make the movie more interesting.  Whatever the case, it does open up some interesting possibilities about the true personality type or psychological state of Zuckerman. 

In our forthcoming book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I list many examples of celebrity personality “types”.  To find out more about Zuckerberg and his personality type, click here.

5 Ways to Get a Job Through YouTube

Mashable had an interest article about how to use Youtube to get a job.  To learn more about how to get noticed through sites like YouTube and others, check out:  How To Reinvent Your Career.  

Not only is it possible to use YouTube to get a job, but it’s becoming a more popular option, especially for the current crop of would-be-employees that grew up with web video.

 

Some argue that video is a more personal tool for job searching, acting as a digital interview, while others see it as cold and alienating, as it lacks the face-to-face element. But YouTube isn’t just about video resumes — there are a variety of creative ways to hop online and get hired.

Even better, YouTube isn’t just for Millennials. Web video can be useful for professionals of any age looking to expand their audience or pick up new clients. With a little creativity, honesty and hard work, you can utilize YouTube to create a more effective (and more interesting) professional and digital image, rather than just falling back on the ol’ resume (digital or not).

Read on for five ways to use YouTube to get a job.


 

To read the rest of the article and see the videos, click here:  mashable.com

Google Search Tips: Using Google’s Lesser Known Functions for Research

With the popularity of Google, odds are you have probably tried using their search engine a time or two.  However, many people are unaware of how to refine their searches using Google’s lesser-known functions. 

  • To find information about a specific website, try inputting something like:  “info:drdianehamilton.com” – be sure you type in the parentheses.
  • Utilize the asterisk function.  For example:  “Facebook * millennials” will give you results with only those words.  If you just searched by “Facebook” and “millennials” you may have words between the two in your results.
  • Google does not recognize short words such as the, a, and, it . . . Nor is it case sensitive. However it does differentiate between singular and plural as i the case of “millennial” or “millennials”.

If you are interested in some other search-related tools offered by Google check out the following sites:

Amazon and Facebook Create Fund to Help Start-Up Companies

LANewsMonitor reported:Amazon.com, Facebook and others on Thursday announced that they will be investing in a new, $250 million venture-capital fund which will target at start-ups and will be designed to better connect people online. KPCB partner Bing Gordon, who is also a former executive with Electronic Arts Inc., will head the social startup fund. This was revealed at Facebook’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters on Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg said …

To read the full article go to:  lanewsmonitor.com

Top 10 Online Influencers

 
Fastcopy recently posted the list of top online influencers.  If you think you might recognize some of the names, you may be surprised.  According to a press release by HRMarketer, “Months ago, Fast Company magazine created its Influence Project in an effort to find out who was the most influential. Would it be media darlings like Oprah and Shaq? Or would it be more ordinary people whose influence may not be as great with more traditional media outlets but who exert significant influence over their Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn connections. More than 32,000 people registered with Fast Company to find out where they stood along with a chance to get their photo in the magazine this November.”

The top 10 on-line influencers according to Fast Company’s The Influence Project were:

1. Jeremy Schoemaker
2. Shefqet Avdullau
3. Tod Sacerdoti
4. Cory Boatright
5. Greg Clement
6. Frank Kovacs
7. Sebastian Saldarriaga
8. James Dunn
9. Richard Lee
10. Pace Lattin

To read full press release click here:  sfgate.com

Employers Using Skype for Interviews

If you are looking for a job right now, you may be surprised to find out that your interview could occur through video-related software such as Skype.  In order to reduce costs, many employers are doing more and more through the use of video.  It works out well for both parties.  The prospective employee may actually be able to do their job interviews from home. 

If you are going to be interviewed in this manner, be sure you are prepared.   For a great article on how to prepare for your interview on Skype, check out the following by e.how.com:

Succeeding in a Skype interview takes as much preparation, if not more, than a regular interview.

Succeeding in a Skype interview takes as much preparation, if not more, than a regular interview.
Skype.com
User-Submitted Article

With companies slashing expenses in every which way these days, many are now preferring to interview job candidates online using applications such as Skype. With face to face interaction still intact, hiring managers can eliminate the costs associated with flying out candidates while maintaining the considerable benefits of having a face-to-face conversation.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • A computer equipped with a webcam, microphone, and Skype
  • Appropriate interview attire
  • As isolated room with adequate lighting, lacking any distractions
  1. First, remember this is a REAL interview! Do not be tricked into thinking that preparation is not required since the interview will be done online. Though there are some tricks to Skype interviews listed below that are not available in an on-site interview, hiring managers will still be choosing individuals that they perceive as most qualified for the job. Thus, PREPARE for the interview in advance. Call the company or asking the hiring manager what would be the appropriate dress for the interview for you to best fit in with the company’s culture (if you do not know already).
  2. If possible, test out your computer set-up days before the interview is set to take place. If possible, use an ethernet cable to access the web; relying on Wi-Fi during an interview is a risk that should be avoided at all costs. Also, make sure there is plenty of lighting in the room, so that the hiring manager can clearly see your face. Free the room of any unnecessary distractions (for instance, a red umbrella or green coat hanging in the background), but it is okay for there to leave non-distracting objects up (such as a clock, a table, etc.). Test the call with another friend to make sure no minor details need to be adjusted (such as the distance between you and the screen).
  3. Try to get the computer’s webcam high enough so that it is eye-level with you. Some laptops naturally require the user to look down at the camera, and that look is typically not as flattering for an interview as the eye-level approach. This can be achieved by a variety of creative means, but if you have some sort of laptop or computer stand, that would be best.
  4. Get there early! Log onto Skype approximately 15 minutes before the interview start time. If the hiring manager is already online, they will be impressed that you have shown up for this virtual interview early. If not, they will still notice you were already online when they got on.
  5. Be professional, but be yourself! Don’t get nervous; demonstrating confidence can sometimes be one of the deciding factors to who the company chooses for the job. Try not to refer to notes (see tip below), however, feel free to write down anything the interviewer might say. Also, it is appropriate to look at the video feed of the interviewer while they are talking, however, it is imperative that you speak to them by looking at the webcam. This will give the impression of eye contact, which is a major selling point in any interview.

How to Check Your Retweets

As more people are entering into different areas of social media, it can be confusing to keep track of whether your message is being delivered.  If you are on Twitter, you can easily see who is retweeting your tweets.  Wow . . . that was a lot of T’s!

Once you are on your Twitter home page, if you look to the right side of your screen, under the home area, you will see a link about half way down the page that says retweet.  If you click on that, it will pull up a screen that looks like this:

If you click on the third tab, that will show you who has retweeted your tweets.  You should get a screen that looks something like this:

It is easy to check to see who is sending out your messages and which messages are getting the most focus.

Wealthy Individuals Use Social Media More Than Most Americans

 

There is no denying the popularity of social media.  There are so many sites, it can be difficult to keep track them all. It is interesting to see who is actually using social media.  When sites like Twitter came out, many were using it more as a means of chatting about their day.  Times have changed and social media is now a very useful tool for businesses.  Sites like Twitter and Facebook now have a strong business presence. 

Wealthy individuals are recognizing the importance of using social media.  Recent polls have shown the wealthy to use social media more than the average Americans. See the results of a recent poll by SEIC.com listed below.  To read the full article, click here.

OAKS, PA., Oct. 19, 2010 – A new Quick Poll from SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) today showed that 70 percent of high-net-worth individuals surveyed are users of Facebook and other social media sites. That’s considerably more than the number of daily social media users among the general populace. According to an August, 2010 report from the Pew Research Center, titled Older Adults and Social Media, 61 percent of Americans ages 18 and over have used a social networking site.

However, the Quick Poll results make it clear that wealthy individuals have a hard time squeezing in their social media time – just 17.4 percent of respondents said they use social media on a daily basis. While 38 percent of those surveyed by Pew had used a social networking site in the previous 24 hours.

SEI surveyed 46 wealthy individuals with more than $5 million in investible assets. Of those surveyed that use social media, 50 percent said they use Facebook. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they visit YouTube, while just under 35 percent use LinkedIn.

Social networking use continues to grow among older users

One in ten (11%) online adults ages 50-64 and one in twenty (5%) online adults ages 65 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.

The use of Twitter and other services to share status updates has also grown among older users—most notably among those ages 50-64. While just 5% of users ages 50-64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, 11% now say they use these tools. On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50-64 make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.

By comparison, social networking sites have gained a much larger foothold in the lives of older Americans over time. One in five (20%) adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago. Likewise, 13% of online adults ages 65 and older log on to social networking sites, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.

Email and online news are still more appealing to older users, but social media sites attract many repeat visitors.

While email may be falling out of favor with today’s teenagers, older adults still rely on it heavily as an essential tool for their daily communications. Overall, 92% of those ages 50-64 and 89% of those ages 65 and older send or read email and more than half of each group exchanges email messages on a typical day. Online news gathering also ranks highly in the daily media habits of older adults; 76% of internet users ages 50-64 get news online, and 42% do so on a typical day.1 Among internet users ages 65 and older, 62% look for news online and 34% do so on a typical day.

Social media properties—including networking and status update sites—are newer additions to the daily digital diet of older adults. Yet, the “stickiness” of the sites is notable. To look at the data another way, among the pool of adults ages 50 and older who use social networking sites, 44% used them on the day prior to their being contacted for our survey.

The pool of Twitter and status update users ages 50 and older is too small to segment, but the behavior of this limited early adopter group does suggest a similar tendency towards regular use of the sites.

By comparison, less than half of online banking users ages 50 and older visited the sites on a typical day and less than one in five older users of online classified sites reported use of the sites “yesterday.”

A Typical Day: Where social media use fits in

If You Aren’t Using Video to Promote You or Your Product, You Need To Read This

Image via seeklogo.com

Cisco recently stated that 40% of all Internet traffic will be video in nature by the end of 2010. They increased that forecast to 91% by the end of 2014.  Are you using video?  I recommend checking out the forecasts that Cisco has made for visual networking by clicking here.  

Videos can be an effective way to capture your prospective customer’s attention.  I wrote about the importance of self-promotion in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  A big part of self-promotion is using video.  In a recent radio interview, I discussed some tactics to using video to promote your products and services.  Click here, to listen to the broadcast. 

Compukol.com recommended the following tips to help you with your video marketing:

  • Short videos: Make sure that your videos (whether you post them on your own website or a website like YouTube) are no more than 5 or 6 minutes long. If you have a video topic that you feel needs to be expanded way beyond the 5 or 6 minutes, it is a good idea to do a series of videos to cover the entire topic. People will be more inclined to watch and will really get a lot out of your videos if you feed them to your audience in small doses.
  • Sales pages: It is sensible to post your videos on your sales pages and to take that opportunity to discuss your products and their benefits or some business opportunity that you are offering to others. The video is helpful in making your potential customers comfortable and the points that you make in your video about your products are reinforced about your sales letter.
  • Key words: Search engines pay a great deal of attention to videos. When the search engines are looking at content and figuring out how to rank the various websites and their content, it is essential to do everything possible to make sure that your website appears as high as possible in the search engine rankings. You should do research to make sure that the keywords that you use in your content is optimum. You should choose keywords that will attract the kinds of leads and traffic that you want to pay attention to you and your business. Try to find out what your target audience is interested in and what they are looking for. Make sure that you include your keywords in headings, tags and resource boxes.
  • Clear structure and purpose: By using the appropriate keywords, you are ensuring that your video will be targeted properly. You need to make sure that your video answers the questions that your audience is thinking about when they start searching for answers. You need to make your communication and your content as clear as possible at all times.

I think you can even make your videos shorter than 5 to 6 minutes.  I have found that people prefer less than 3 to 4 minute videos.  I also think it is extremely important to include a landing page website address on your video.  You must be able to draw your customers to your site.  If you have a landing page where they can sign up for a free newsletter, that is one really effective way to build a customer base.

If you want more tips about how to make an effective video, click on the rest of the Compukol.com article by clicking here

In my conversation in yesterday’s interview, we discussed how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a video.  If you have a flip camera or video camera, you are well on your way.  A video does not have to be elaborately produced to be effective. 

Check out instructions from Youtube about how to make as well as optimize your video by clicking here.  For more general information about lighting, sound, etc. click here.

KIVA and IVA Talk Radio Interviews Dr. Diane Hamilton

Upcoming Episodes  

Date / Time: 10/20/2010 10:30 AM

Category: Jobs

Call-in Number: (347) 994-2414 

She’s an accomplished businessperson with real-life experience working in real estate, finance, technology and pharmaceutical industries. Her experience also includes working as an organizational development consultant helping companies with training, time management, emotional intelligence and facilitating the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument.

She’s going to help get your career in focus!

To hear the first interview, click here.
To hear the second interview, click here.  There were some connection issues so I apologize if it sounds like we were talking over one another here.

Does Your Boss Want You Dead?

I teach several ethics courses where we discuss ethics  in the workplace.  Did you know that your employee can take out a policy on your life without you knowing about it?  Check out this article by Liz Pulliam Weston from MSN.

‘Dead peasants’ insurance pays your employer a secret, tax-free windfall when you die. Insurers have sold millions of policies to companies such as Dow Chemical.

Right now, your company could have a life insurance policy on you that you know nothing about. When you die — perhaps years after you leave your employer — the tax-free proceeds from this policy wouldnt go to your family. The money would go to the company.

Whats more, the company might use this policy to pay for retirement benefits and other perks not for you or your fellow workers, but for your companys top executives.

 

Sound outrageous? Such corporate-owned life insurance is also big business:

  • Companies pay a whopping $8 billion in premiums each year for such coverage, according to the American Council of Life Insurers, a trade group.
  • The policies make up more than 20% of the all the life insurance sold each year.
  • Companies expect to reap more than $9 billion in tax breaks from these policies over the next five years. The policies are treated as whole life policies. So, companies can borrow against the policies (though the IRS won’t let them write off the interest). And the death benefits are tax-free.

Hundreds of companies — including Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney and Winn-Dixie — have purchased this insurance on more than 6 million rank-and-file workers.

These policies, nicknamed dead janitors or dead peasants insurance, soared in popularity after many states cleared the way for them in the 1980s. Congress recently tried to crack down on the practice, to the howls of the insurance industry — which earlier this year managed to derail reforms.

The policies have generated lawsuits by survivors who got little or nothing when insured workers died. A couple of examples:

To read the rest of the article go to:  moneycentral.msn.com

Why Customers Subscribe and Unsubscribe to Facebook Pages

If you are trying to market your product or company on Facebook, you might be interested in why people decide to subscribe or unsubscribe to Facebook pages.  To read the entire article by Frank Reed at MarketingPilgram.com click here.

eMarketer reports on a survey conducted by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research in September tells the story that most Facebook brand followers are not researchers or self-starters.

The report also shows that Facebook brand attrition rates are at 36% and that number doesn’t include those who choose to hide brand updates from their Facebook newsfeed.

So why do people stop following brands on Facebook?

Website Helps Teens Prepare For College

 

Image via eduinreview.com

I am always interested in any technology that helps young adults prepare for college and beyond.  Arizona has a new website that is aimed at helping high school grads pursue a college degree. Check out this article by Eugene Scott at the Arizona Republic:

A new online portal to help high-school students prepare for college is part of a public-private education initiative aimed at boosting the number of Arizonans with a college degree.

The High School Portal, which is found at AZTransfer.com, streamlines information from all public universities and community colleges into a central source.

The portal is touted as a key tool to help students transition into college. It outlines steps that teens must take to attend college, begin earning college credit and figure out what careers may be best suited for them.

To read the full article, click here:  azcentral.com

Free Social Media Tools for Teachers

In my books, I often write about using social media tools.  I think they can be invaluable in the classroom.  I recently found a great article about media tools for teachers on Mashable.com.   I am a big Mashable fan.  They have wonderful articles about technology and every one of them is more interesting than the next. If you haven’t checked out their site, you really need to do so. 

In Sarah Kessler’s article 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers, she point out some great tools that can be used in the classroom including:

  1. Edu 2.0  – site that allows teachers to share content
  2. SymbalooEDU  – site allows teachers to organize classroom resources,  school logos may be added
  3. Collaborize Classroom  – site allows for online discussions to remove intimidation factor
  4. Edublogs  – site is great for group projects, newsletters and more
  5. Kidblog  – good site for K-8 classroom
  6. Edmondo  – site is similar to Facebook but more controlled environment
  7. TeacherTube, SchoolTube, Youtube – TeacherTube and SchoolTube are alternatives to Youtube for teachers

 

 

To watch videos about each of these tools, click here to read the Mashable article.   

Mashable already had a really interesting article about the need for social media in the classroom.  Click here to read that article.

TweepML Makes It Easy Finding People to Follow on Twitter Lists

image via tweepml.org

Twitter allows you to pick lists of people to follow that have been created by other people.  There may be times when you don’t to follow every single person on that list or you want to follow the entire list of them directly rather than through a list.  The solution:  TweepML is a simple format to make it easy for people to share a list of Twitter users “Tweeps”. 

If you click here  you can look for lists. I can type in a word like “jobs” and it will show lists and tell how many users are on that list.  If I should pick a list, it will pull up the entire list.  I can look at who is listed and follow the ones I want easily by keeping the automatic X that is next to their name or removing it from the ones that I do not want to follow.  You can clear all of the X’s and pick one at a time or keep all of the X’s and remove one at a time.

You can add TweepML to your website to make it easy for people to follow everyone on it with a single click.

If you want to see what lists are popular, the main page  contains a list of the most popular lists.   You can create your own list and share it with the world by clicking here

When original owner of the site, Marcelo Carbucci, put TweepML up for sale earlier this year, I wondered what the impact would be.  Since then, I have noticed a lot more activity with people finding me through their site.  I am curious to see how this site will grow under new management.

Changing Careers: Get The Help You Need

With the recent release of my latest book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I’ve had a lot of people writing and asking me questions about how to make some career changes.  According to an article in the Independent.co, this is a big time for career changers. In that article, author Russ Thorne stated, “If you’re thinking about changing careers, you’re not alone: according to some recruiters, this is the busiest time of year for job changes, prompted by months of summer reflection. However, a total career change demands more than planning a valedictory leaving do: research, networking and training or voluntary work experience will boost your chances of standing on the other side checking out the color of the grass.”

I discussed a many of these ideas in a recent radio interview with Anna Banks.  It is very important to have a plan.  Probably one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is to not have goals written down with clearly measurable ways of attaining those goals.

One of the chapters in my book is titled “The Product Is You”.  I often write and speak about how you must see yourself as the product and market your skills.  Part of preparing to do that is to do a personal SWOT analysis.  For those of you who have not taken many business courses, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  Companies analyze these things on a regular basis.  I think individuals need to do the same thing. 

After self-analysis, you must also be sure to find ways to stand out in the crowd.  There is a lot of competition out there for the few coveted jobs.  I recommend reading some of the following articles to help you with social networking to get noticed and find your dream job:

6 Steps to Using Linkedin to Get That Job

I often write and speak to groups about how to use social networking to find a job and market one’s skills.  In my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career, I often write and speak about using social networking to find employment. In the marketing courses I teach, we discuss how to get that job you after graduation.  A very big part of obtaining that goal is to have a plan.  How can the recent college graduate, or anyone else, for that matter, utilize social media to find a job? 

I personally think LinkedIn is one of the best ways to get noticed.  Check out their latest series of videos at students to give them step by step guidance to learn how to set up their profile, build their network and find that job they love.

  1. Why should you join Linkedin 
  2. How to build your professional brand 
  3. Find your career passion 
  4. Build your network  
  5. Turn Relationships into Opportunities
  6. Nail the Interview

To find out more about finding a job and marketing yourself, check out: How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love.  

To find out more about online education and creating goals, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online College Student.

What Kind of Return Can You Expect From Using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin?

Have you ever wondered how your actions on some of the major social media sites are helping generate income for your business?  Eventbrite.com has published some findings from one of their studies where they tracked a set of metrics to quantify the value and impact of social media.

According to their report, “When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34. On an aggregate level across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and our email share tool, each share equals $1.78 in ticket sales. We’re seeing this number improve every week with the most recent four-week average equaling $1.87.”

If you are curious how they got these figures, click here.

How we did it
We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook “Like” vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

Can Texting Damage Writing Skills?

 

I often talk to my students about whether they feel texting has caused people to have more difficulties with their writing skills.  I personally see a lot of first-year students who abbreviate quite a bit, lack punctuation skills and don’t write in complete sentences. 

Young and younger children are receiving cell phones. It may make parents feel safer knowing they can reach their children. Tweens are learning to type in text abbreviations which may affect their ability to write well.  WJS.com reported “The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives 3,339 texts a month—more than 100 per day, according to the Nielsen Co., the media research firm. Adults are catching up. People from ages 45 to 54 sent and received 323 texts a month in the second quarter of 2010, up 75% from a year ago.” 

Eudopia.org recently posted a survey asking the following question to see if text messaging is harming students’ writing skills:  “IYO txtng = NME or NBD?” If you have no idea what that means . . . Translation: “In your opinion, is text messaging the enemy, or no big deal?” 

PiercePioneer.com asked, Mike Darcher, English instructor for 20 years if he felt texting was hurting our students’ writing ability.  He said he could not make the connection of bad texting habits being carried over into student’s writing. “In terms of writing skills, there is no way of measuring its impact,” Darcher said.

TimesDaily reported the results of a report of a study from Pew Internet and American Life Project. “The study was prompted in large part because of growing concerns over how text-based electronic communications affect the writing ability of students who are immersed in electronic media. Out of 700 youth aged 12-17 who participated in the phone survey, 60 percent say they don’t consider electronic communications – e-mail, instant messaging, mobile text – to be writing in the formal sense; 63 percent say it has no impact on the writing they do for school and 64 percent report inadvertently using some form of shorthand common to electronic text, including emotions, incorrect grammar or punctuation.”

Some linguists are mixed on the effect of texting on writing skills. There are those who think that this may not last and may just go the way of some slang words that are no longer used.  Some think that learning texting is just like learning another language.  As long as the students can keep them separated, then they see no problem with it. 

Texting may be a passing thing, but it is definitely here for now.  If you are trying to figure out what that text is or that abbreviation that someone sent you, you might want to check out the following list from the Vancouver Sun:

The top 10 commonly used abbreviations in texting — translated to plain English:

– 411 — All the information

– BBIAS — Be back in a second (also BBIF — be back in a few, and BBL — be back later)

– BFN — Bye for now

– ETA — Estimated time of arrival (used for deadlines and when to expect something/someone)

– FYI — For your information

– KK — Okay, okay (I understand what you’re saying)

– LOL — Laugh out loud

– OMG — Oh my God

– TTYL — Talk to you later (also TTYS — talk to you soon)

– UOK — Are you okay?

If you want to know what your kids are saying to each other, here are some common text abbreviations to watch for. Parent alerts include:

– PAW or 9 — Parents are watching

– POV — Parent over shoulder

– CD9 — Code 9, meaning Parents are around

– P911 — Parents coming into room alert

– PIR — Parents in room

– PSOS — Parent standing over shoulder

– KPC — Keeping parents clueless

– NP — Nosy parents (But this is also used as “no problem”)

Want to know your kids’ relationship status? Nothing to be alarmed about if they text:

– LYLAB — Love you like a brother

– LYLAS — Love you like a sister

– LDR — Long distance relationship

But you don’t want to see:

– 420 — Let’s get high/marijuana use

– LGH — Let’s get high

– LH6 — Let’s have sex

– LHOS — Let’s have online sex

– LIK — Liquor

How is their day going? Here are a few common indicators:

– 2MTH — Too much to handle

– ADIH — Another day in hell

– ADIP — Another day in paradise

– LTHTT — Laughing too hard to type

– HHIS — Head hanging in shame

– CWOT — Complete waste of time

– IMSB — I’m so bored

– BOOMS — Bored out of my skull

– 121 — One to one (private chat invitation)

If your son or daughter texts you a status report, you should be familiar with:

– BHL8 — Be home late

– CUL8R — See you later

– G2G — Got to go

– G2R — Got to run

– ILBL8 — I’ll be late

– TTYL — Talk to you later

Are You Using Wooeb’s Interactive Search Engine Platform?

If you haven’t heard of Wooeb.com yet, you need to check out their site.  Wooeb is an interactive search engine platform.  Rather than having to wait for search engines to pick up your information, they put it all together in one place. 

They did a nice job with with creating ads and banners.  This is an example of an ad they can create for you on their site.  You can also click on it to find out more about my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career.

They also offer press releases that you can incorporate on your wooeb site.  To see my site, go to: http://wooeb.com/drdianehamilton

Check out an article about the Top 5 Reasons Wooeb Boosts Your Online Presence by clicking here.  In that article they list the following benefits of using Wooeb:

1.  Everything is in one place

2.  You own your URL

3.  It is accessible to everyone

4.  Wooeb indexes search engines

5.  Messages boards are included to discuss topics with others

Search Engine War: AOL, Google, Yahoo, and Bing

I use AOL and I am a big fan of Google.  If you use AOL, you may have noticed the search screen says:  AOL Search Enhanced by Google. 

AOL and Google have a continuing relationship that they have extended for another 5 years.  Part of that relationship includes: 

  1. Google provides AOL with additional features and enhancements to improve their search function.
  2. Google provides AOL with ad formats.
  3. AOL and Google work together to focus on mobile apps.
  4. This relationship allows AOL to have a content partnership with YouTube
  5. This relationship improves the international scope of AOL’s audience.

I was curious to see if there was a big difference between the results by searching within AOL vs. going to Google to search. AOL included a few local addresses at the beginning but otherwise the results were similar.

I have to admit I don’t use Yahoo and Bing very often.  I noticed when searching for my press releases, that Yahoo and Bing do not pick up the information nearly as well as Google and AOL do.  However, I am interested to see if their future relationship may change things.  Today’s Wall Street Journal had an article about how Bing and Yahoo were going to join forces.  Google may have some competition with that.  WSJ stated, “With the integration of Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s search businesses now well advanced—Yahoo searches are using Microsoft’s Bing engine and its search ads will increasingly go through Microsoft’s adCenter platform—the duo have a better chance to take on Google.”  Google is hardly hurting though, “Digital-marketing firm SearchIgnite estimates Google’s share of U.S. ad spending rose nearly two percentage points to 80.2% in the third quarter, with Yahoo dropping two points to 13.4%. Bing had 6.4%.”

The search engine war and capturing unique visitors continues to be big business.  Check out the following chart to see how the search engines and social networking sites compare in terms of revenue per unique visitors:

chart of the day, revenue per unique visitor, google, aol, twitter, facebook

Facebook’s Growth: More People Logging In, Catching Up To Google

In a recent Windows: The Official Magazine article, they noted that Facebook has 400,000 active users and the average user has 130 friends, 3 billion photos are shared every month, 60 million status updates are made every day, and the average user spends about 55 minutes a day on facebook. 

Gigaom.com had some interesting facts about how people prefer to log in. According to that article: Most website users still prefer logging in with a Google account, but Facebook is a close second, according to new data from Janrain, a Portland startup whose software plugin makes it easy for websites to offer multiple login methods. The company’s latest survey looked at statistics from more than 250,000 websites and services that use its software, and found that close to 40 percent of users prefer to sign in with a Google ID, while 24 percent chose to login with their Facebook profile. Yahoo came in third with 14 percent of sign-ins, while Twitter and Microsoft’s Windows Live were tied at 5 percent.

To read more from that article, click here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Get a Job and Get Noticed By Taking Full Advantage of LinkedIn’s Capabilities

How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton

With the release of my new book, How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love, I have been talking with a lot of people about ways for job seekers to get noticed. If you are currently in the market for a new job, don’t under estimate the importance of utilizing sites like Linkedin.  In a radio interview I did yesterday, talk show host, Anna Banks, and I discussed the value of Linkedin for the job seeker.  To listen to that interview, click here.  If you have not had a chance to take full advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer, take a moment to check out some of the links provided in this article to help you increase your exposure on their site to get noticed by prospective employers.

LinkedIn image
Website: linkedin.com
Location: Mountain View, California, United States
Founded: May 1, 2003
Funding: $103M

Southcoasttoday.com reported, “LinkedIn has become the new resume, so the importance of it from that regard cannot be understated for job seekers. Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn as their primary research tool. Job seekers should ensure that their LinkedIn site tells their story well, uses key words that are likely to be searched, and includes a downloadable resume using a tool such as Slideshare, which is available on LinkedIn”

I personally also recommend considering importing presentations from Google Docs into your LinkedIn profile to showcase your talents.  To see how to do this click here

How big is LinkedIn?  According to Bakersfield.com “LinkedIn boasts of 80 million members in more than 200 countries. A recent post on Mashable.com notes the growing number of places recruiters are posting jobs, with LinkedIn at the top of the list. ”

If you are interested in reading more about Linkedin and ways to use it to find a job, check out some of these articles:

Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Using Keywords to Optmize Your Linkedin Site

LinkedIn’s New Signal Program

How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

How to Look Amazing on LinkedIn

Asking People to Join You on LinkedIn

The Top 5 Ways You Should Be Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

I am always on the lookout for articles about careers, social networking and education.   I hit the trifecta when I discovered Linkedin was offering Career Explorer for graduates.  TechCrunch recently a very interesting article they posted about the use of LinkedIn for students needing help with their career path.  The following is an excerpt from that article:

LinkedIn is launching a new data-focused feature, called LinkedIn Career Explorer, that provides college graduates with insights from other LinkedIn members to help them visualize a career path.

Career Explorer leverages data from the professional social network’s 80 million members to help students visualize and map successful career paths in a variety of industries. The product also shows college students job opportunities and salary information, the type of education and experience required, and will indentify people who can help them find these jobs.

So students can specify a type of job that they want to pursue or the company they want to work for and LinkedIn will show professionals who have succeeded in similar endeavors. Students can also access the best contact within their networks for certain fields or companies, and LinkedIn will recommend job openings.

The new feature will lead students to the Company Profiles (LinkedIn now has over 1 million profiles on the network), and encourage users to “follow” those companies to receive updates, including job postings, new hires and more.

Career Explorer is currently being rolled out to students at 60 universities in the U.S. and will eventually expanded to users from other educational institutions. The feature seems fitting for the platform and will no doubt provide a unique way for college students to see the career paths of those who have reached success in particular industries. Also, Career Explorer is a way to attract college students (and perhaps even ambitious high school students) as members of the community and perhaps gain loyalty among this age group.

To read the complete article click here.