Sunday, March 30, 2003

Effectiveness Tip of the Week

The Delicacies of Delegation

Parents, managers, and people in general have trouble letting go, and when they do, it's gofer mania! "Hey, you! Go for this and go for that." It's pretty hard to supervise even one person when you are involved in every move he/she makes. Effective delegation focuses on results, not methods, and allows others to use their imagination, free will, and conscience to get the job done. Here's some advice:

  • Desired Results. Clearly articulate what needs to be done, not how to do it. Describe in detail the desired result so that the other person virtually sees it.
  • Guidelines. Make sure there are parameters within which people are to operate. Point out potential failure paths -- what not to do versus what to do.
  • Resources. Help people understand what human, financial, technical, or organizational resources are available to them.
  • Accountability. Set up standards of performance that will be used in evaluating results and when those evaluations will occur.
  • Consequences. Specify what will happen, both good and bad, as a result of the evaluation.
Effective delegation -- gofer it!

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Looking for Work Is Another Kind of Battle in Wartime

Some job seekers feared that a war with Iraq would make their job searches tougher. But many hirers say it's been "business as usual." Read more...

Friday, March 28, 2003

The Forbes 500s

"America's biggest companies fought their way through another nasty year. Our 35th annual 500s directory is a report card on how these big corporations performed in 2002. Among the bad news, aggregate profits of the 500 largest companies by sales were off 5%. This year only 802 companies made one or more of the lists (sales, profits, assets or market value) versus 824 a year ago." View the Special Report...

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Wow!

Holy cow! Over 250 unique visits and 325 page views to this blog this month! Who are you people?

New to the Blogosphere

Ronnie Cruz just started a weblog to chronicle his search for a new job. I noticed that the blog links back here. Thanks, and good luck! We're in this together. Hopefully there is something here that can help you as it helps me and others.

U.S. House Panel OKs Job Training Overhaul

"The government's $5 billion jobs training and services programs would be combined into state block grants in legislation approved Thursday by a House committee."

"The legislation 'would help improve results for Americans striving to get back to work,' said the committee chairman, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio. He said the bill would trim the bureaucracy, provide greater cooperation among those helping to develop the work force, and further emphasize basic skills in adult education programs."

I'm all for striving toward government efficiency. Read more...

Manpower Professional - Dayton Office

Some interesting developments... Yesterday I contacted the local Manpower office (see link above) to speak to the guy with whom I'd been working on my recent assignment. I spoke to someone who stated that he no longer works for the company. I was surprised. I had just seen him with his boss a month ago at the Greater Dayton IT Alliance meeting.

I asked this person if the office had a most recent copy of my resume, and I found out that they did not. Apparently, since my guy had left the company, he did not hand over the updated resume I had emailed. Okay then.

So, I just emailed the office an updated copy of my resume. I sent it to their "catch-all" email address, which I found through the Office Locator portion of the website.

Now, I need to send another copy to that other recruiter whom I'd emailed last week.

Cheers!

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Effectiveness Tip of the Week via email from the folks at FranklinCovey

I Do

This Information Age can make you believe that knowing really is doing. But doing requires, well, DOING something! Many times there's a gap between knowing and doing. Yet, once you close the gap and unite knowing and doing, sparks really fly! Do I hear bells? Repeat after me: "I affirm the special bond and unique relationship that exists between knowing and doing and promise to keep it alive always." (Sniffle!) Here's some advice:

  • Details. Planning is essential for converting ideas into action. But don't get hung up on details, wasting precious time and resources debating specifics of strategy and implementation. View plans like blueprints -- where you focus on essentials and leave room for adjustments.
  • Embrace technology. Technology produces new tools for getting things done in a changing world. Seek every opportunity at work and at home to learn and use these tools.
  • Risky business. Fear of failing may prevent you from doing a lot of things, yet knowing comes from doing. Be more willing to tackle risk in your life. You'll never know until you try!
I now pronounce you... umm... more effective!

MSN Careers - Awake the Entrepreneur Within

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Greater Dayton IT Alliance | Technology First Magazine

The March issue of Technology First is now available for you to download from the Greater Dayton IT Alliance.

Toastmasters International™

This afternoon my wife and I stopped at the school administration building, and I spotted an annoucment for a local Toastmasters International™ club. I was reminded of my recent visits to the Mid Day Cabaret, the club at LexisNexis, where I worked for a short while. Twelve years ago, when I was co-oping for General Dynamics Land Systems in Michigan, I became a member of the Hi Nooners club.

Since these meetings are often open to anyone interested, I may very well attend some meetings of the local Dayton Toastmasters™ Clubs.

These venues are great places to network, so I'll have to be sure to have plenty of business cards when I go.

Find a club near you.

Monday, March 17, 2003

More Networking Stuff

Yesterday my wife, daughter, and I went bowling at a local bowling alley, caled Bowlero (cute name). It was set up as a Family Fun time by the events coordinator at Keisha's school. We got to play for a discounted price, and it was Bumper Bowling. Needless to say, my bowling average didn't improve by that much!

What does this have to do with networking? As we're getting ready to leave, I started talking with another father about his child and what he does for a living. Well, I had also brought some business cards I made for myself, and I gave him and his friend a card. We also saw one of my daughter's classmates with his mother. We've been wanting to keep in touch with his parents, so I gave my wife a card to give her, along with some paper so that we could get her phone number as well.

It's this aspect of the job search that I enjoy the most. It does provide immediate results, but it plants seeds that may someday come to fruition.

I guess you could call THAT networking

This morning a representative from the local gas delivery company came by to our place. He stated that he'd been ordered to either collect a certain past due amount of money from us or shut off our service. I explained to him our family's current situation, and he, while very sympathetic, explained that it would be better for us to not have it shut off and then reconnected again.

Fortunately, we had the amount in the bank account. Mom was outside with us as well. I asked if he could take a check, and then went inside to get the checkbook. I returned to the representative with the checkbook and wrote the check for the past due amount. I also told him that I was grateful that they hadn't turned the service off when the weather was cold, like it was last month.

The, get this: he asked me what kind of work I did. I told him that I did some computer programming, and he said that he might know of someone who could help me. I asked him if I could give him a business card. He said yes, and I went back inside to get some business cards I'd made up for myself. I gave him two of them, in fact.

As the rep took off, Mom mentioned that the guy told her I'd been a lot better than many of the folks he's had to meet about similar matters like this. Mom thanked him and they got to talking about my being a Christian, and the guy said he could tell I was a Christian by how I'd behaved.

So, I guess you could consider that networking.

Effectiveness Tip of the Week via email from the folks at FranklinCovey:

Finances -- Let's Get Personal

You've got places to go, people to see, and things to do -- in other words, lots of bills. Show me the money! Do you know where every cent is spent? Money doesn't grow on trees, you know! Spare no expense in getting your personal finances in order. Here are a few tips:

  • Time is money. In your planning device, schedule a daily or weekly appointment with yourself to balance the books. This is a good time to identify spending patterns and make necessary corrections.
  • Budget constraints. Set up a monthly budget and stick to it. There are great computer programs like Quicken© and Microsoft© Money that'll do most of the work for you. Remember to include savings and a personal budget for you and only you.
  • Adjust as you go. Don't throw in the towel when your budget's in the red. It's an indication that you may be living beyond your means in some areas, and adjustments should be made (or else it's time for a raise)!
Controlling personal finances -- common cents. (Pun intended, ahem.)

Friday, March 14, 2003

Webmonkey | Post-Boom Job Guide

With the boom turned bust, what's an intrepid, unemployed Monkey to do? Greg Penhaligon assesses the damage, then offers up a few coping mechanisms.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Looking for work

Eucharis Jones blogs about looking for work.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Outsourcing employees gaining steam

More and more companies are outsourcing all different kinds of functions that used to be done on site. Is your job in danger? Read more from Clark Howard...

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Effectiveness Tip of the Week via email from the folks at FranklinCovey

Feedback-Feast on It!

Today's special-feedback. Sound good? Asking for and receiving feedback requires a generous portion of humility. Although it's hard to swallow sometimes, feedback tells you as much about the people from whom you receive it as it does about yourself. Hungry for more? Here are some ideas to chew on:

  • Large selection.Concentrate on your roles in your family, work, or community where you feel additional perspective would be helpful. For example, parents could get feedback from children, a spouse, or other parents.
  • Different tastes. Feedback can be formal or informal, anonymous or face-to-face. You can use a questionnaire or just chat on the phone. You know what's best for you.
  • Ingredients. Be careful not to judge each other's character. Feedback should be objective, and given against performance and effectiveness criteria.
  • Dish it out. As soon as you receive feedback, analyze it and feed it back! Involve others in creating an action plan based on their feedback. Remember your manner and always say "Thanks."
Come on, try it. You'll like it!

Friday, March 07, 2003

The Motley Fool's Tips for Job Hunters

BostonWorks - The Job Blog

"The Job Blog is a set of regularly updated links to jobs and career information from around the web." Cool. Must add to the blogroll.

WetFeet.com | Weblog

"Each week, WetFeet.com scours the Web looking for news of note for those looking to manage their career more intelligently, and links to WetFeet.com resources that will help you deal with hot career issues."

The February 18, 2002 post (no link available) provides two tasty items for you to nibble on:

  • America's Employed -- Spoiled Brats or Latchkey Kids?
  • Headhunters Now Hunted by Heads

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Create Visibility

MSN Careers has an article about maximizing the value of business relationships.

Semantics Update

We've heard of the terms "laid-off", "down-sized", "right-sized", and "streamlined" to refer to the condition of one becoming unemployed. Well, Dave over at IdeaJoy has uncovered some new euphemisms: "became redundant", and especially, "de-emphasized."

Monday, March 03, 2003

Wanted: Your Job Hunting Success Stories

I've noticed that I've been getting a number of visitors from Where The Hell Did My Job Go? Whether you're looking for career information or encouragement, I'm very encouraged that you're stopping by.

Let me take this moment to ask you for something. I want to let others know about how you have successfully found a job. It may be your current one or a previous one - it doesn't matter. I want to encourage other job seekers with your success. You will receive no reimbursement from this, except for the gratification that your story has helped to inspire countless others who are where you once were.

Be specific, but don't mention any company names. That may sound like a contradiction in terms, and you may disagree with this approach - let me know and I may reconsider. Instead, use a generic title, such as "software development consulting company", "global consumer products company", and so on. If you would like some help, then let me know.

I will only use your initials or first name and last initial when presenting your success story. I am specifically interested in answers to the following:

  • What position were you applying for?
  • How did you contact the particular company?
  • Describe the interviewing process.
  • Did you work part-time or as a contractor/consultant with the company before being hired?
  • How long was the process from your first contact with the company to your first day of work?
  • Describe your emotional state during the process. Were you anxious? Excited? Stressed? Impatient? Frustrated? Let us know.


So email me your job hunting success stories at danimal0416[nospam]@yahoo.com(remove the [nospam], of course), and we'll get them published here at "Get That Job!"

Sunday, March 02, 2003

an anniversary of sorts

... for Mark Morris, that is. He recently mused about the year anniversary of his last day as a computer programmer at a former employer. "... today I can say with confidence that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made... I have to day, it's been a good year." Awesome.

Effectiveness Tip of the Week via email from the folks at FranklinCovey:

"Reflect"ology

Ever feel like you are making the same mistakes and struggling with the same problems week after week? You may need the benefits of "reflect"ology. Ever heard of it?

"Reflect"ology is a practice that's been around for many moons. Reflecting about or evaluating the past week is a natural process that can help relieve stress, identify weaknesses, and get you back on your feet. Don't feel pressured -- just relax and consider these tips for evaluating your week:

  • Examination. Create a checklist of five or six self-evaluation questions and keep them in your planning system. Examples include
    • "What challenges did I face this week and how did I overcome them?"
    • "What goals did I not achieve and why?"
    • "What can I learn from the week as a whole?"
  • Regular checkup. Make an appointment with yourself each week and choose a place that is quiet. Review your questions before you plan the next week.
  • Prevention. You'll soon identify ineffective habits and patterns. This knowledge will help you prevent making the same mistakes in the future.
Weekly evaluation -- a cure for common ineffectiveness