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Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
Check out how how to use these Social Media websites to benefit your business.
Throughout the world, societies seem to be moving further by singing the praises of the drive for power and wealth. You’ve heard the sayings about the downsides of the “rat race” and “keeping up with the Joneses” — but at the end of the day, we need only look in the mirror to see a perfect example of the people we’re mocking.
I’ve decided to pursue a life of recruiting and sourcing. There is little to no prospect of “moving up” since I don’t plan on going corporate, and I’ll probably spend most of my of time working from home in my undies…!!!
So why would someone do something so ridiculous? Here’s my argument for abandoning the career ladder and instead pursuing a so-called “dead-end” career.
If You Have the Right Job, You’ll Love Working
Our society likes to say that a well-adjusted person “works to live” and doesn’t “live to work,” but I say that’s totally backwards. If the part of your day that you are working doesn’t count as “living,” then half of your life will be irrecoverably lost.
Instead, find the life you want to live and then figure out how to make a living from it. As a recruiter, I view myself as the consummate marriage broker, fulfilling the expectations and desires of both the candidate and the employer. My career choice gives me the ability to do what I want to do for fun, and to get paid enough to live for it.
Getting to Be Different
There’s something appealing and satisfying about leaving behind the pursuit of social status and trading it in for the pursuit of personal perfection. Beware, though, that abandoning the eternal hunt for power and wealth can make you look rather alien in an increasingly suburban world.
Ending Performance Anxiety
I am not ambitious. I’m considerably more interested in making my work acceptable to myself than I am in making it impressive to my peers. I don’t need upward mobility, because my current momentum will already carry me to or beyond where I want to be.
How can making less money give you greater financial independence? The answer lies once again in social status. Many of the most expensive things we buy (like sporty cars, McMansions with serious acreage, or that 500 sq ft home theater) are luxury items that serve as a black hole for our incomes.
There is, of course, a certain level of income needed to live while being financially independent, but that number rises and falls depending on where you live and your own perceived social status.
How does pursuing a “dead-end” career fit in your lifestyle?
In late October 2012, Sandy stormed through the Northeast, knocking out the electricity. Lights went out, and so did Wi-Fi. Though a laptop was still charged, it was without Internet.
The local cell networks were both degraded by the weather and instantly overloaded as thousands of people around called their friends and family to ask, “Did your power just go out? Are you OK?”
Your phone is getting service, but just barely. Calls are patchy. 3G and 4G Internet aren’t working at all, so neither are your apps. All you can depend on is the most resilient, and limited, feature of your cell service: Text messages.
The Washington Post had a great post up about how to use Twitter (http://wapo.st/S6M5D4), which was originally a text-based service, without Internet access. But there’s a lot more you can do with SMS — from Twitter and Facebook to email and search. Here’s how to access the Internet without the Internet:
You can still use Google even if all you have is SMS access. Just add 466453 (GOOGLE) to your phone book, then text to it as if you’re searching.
Here’s something you may not have known about your phone number: It has an e-mail address. Almost every carrier operates what’s called an e-mail gateway, meaning that you can send and receive e-mails via text.
Here’s how to figure out your phone’s e-mail address:
If you’re on Verizon, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org (as in email@example.com), or if that doesn’t work, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re on AT&T, it’s email@example.com, or if that doesn’t work firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re on Sprint, it’s email@example.com
If you’re on T-Mobile, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org
(For other carriers, or to troubleshoot yours, check here.)
Now, to receive your e-mail via SMS, you’ll need to forward it to your gateway address: Most e-mail services offer this for free in the settings page. Here’s how to do it in Gmail, for example. You’ll have to turn this on before you lose Internet access. So, like, now.
If this doesn’t work, depending on your carrier and e-mail provider, you can try an automated forwarding service such as TXTJet.
Add a forwarding address
To send e-mails via text, you can usually just enter an e-mail address instead of a phone number. These same e-mail gateways work in reverse, meaning you can either respond directly to messages forwarded through the gateway or send a new message by entering “email@example.com” in the recipient box in your texting app. This works on many older phones, too, though typing out email addresses on a T9 keypad will be a chore.
It’s not the most graceful process, but it works.
You can do almost anything on Twitter via SMS, which, if you’re interested, you can read about here. But in the event of an outage, there are really only two Twitter SMS features you’ll need.
To get simple updates from any account, set up an SMS Fast Follow. This does not require your Twitter account, and will keep your text volume low. Just send “Follow [username]” to 40404. (No @ symbol required.) This will let you receive updates from important accounts, but won’t let you post. Some suggestions and example for Fast Follows, though yours will be location-specific:
To post to Twitter, follow these instructions from Twitter’s FAQ:
How to add your phone to your existing Twitter account via SMS:
- Send a text to your Twitter code  with the word START.
- We’ll reply and ask you to text YES to the Twitter short code.
- Text your username to the same number. Do not use the @ symbol or quotation marks. Send your username ONLY. For example: netrecruiter
- Next, text your password. This is case sensitive, so be sure you are sending your password correctly.
- That’s it! You’re ready to go!
Your account can now be used with the whole range of Twitter text commands, found here. A few important ones:
ON: turns ALL your authorized Twitter updates and notifications on.
OFF: turns ALL phone notifications off.
Otherwise, anything you send to 40404 will be posted from your account. (These instructions only work for Verizon, AT&T, and affiliated MVNOs.)
This used to be more functional, but you can still have Facebook forward you notifications and private messages via SMS, as well as post status updates. You can also respond to private messages, which is potentially valuable if you don’t have someone’s phone number but happen to be Facebook friends.
To activate Facebook via SMS, go to your Facebook account settings and click “Mobile” on the left side of the page. Turn on Facebook Message forwarding and Notifications. (You can customize which ones get through in a submenu.)
Once this is set up, you can also post a status update by texting it to 32665 (FBOOK).
Just think of it! Sipping a frosty drink while sitting in a lounge chair on the beach – and on your lap sits a computer with an aircard. Your “virtual office”.
When I first starting dreaming about working from home full time, visions of a clean house, on-demand gourmet lunches, and selling my car clouded most of my reasoning.
While the benefits of going virtual are obvious, how to get your boss to see those benefits can often be less-obvious.
But the truth is, this move does have to benefit your company or boss in some way for them to agree to let you work remotely. So before you ask for a meeting with your superior, sit down and compose a request by answering the following questions:
1. First and most importantly, will working from home actually help you do your job?
Unless you’ve done something to personally insult yours, bosses make decisions based on job performance and productivity.
If your job description involves the physical supervision of employees in their cubes or work spaces, you probably need to consider a career change rather than going virtual. If, however, your position requires a high level of creativity and focus and you spend most of your day alone, bring that up.
Working in a loud, booming office environment can make it hard to concentrate, and sometimes even to get things done. Emphasize that working virtually will allow you more control over your environment and allow you to focus on providing high quality work. What’s not to like about that?
2. Does your company’s communication structure support going virtual?
Does your company already include several virtual folks. Are meetings held on Skype or GoTo Meeting conference calls, or do you spend the day with your eyes glued on the Microsoft Outlook home screen.
This is an ideal situation for going virtual, but perhaps it is not your situation. If you can be patient, take the long-term guerilla approach by slowly suggesting best practices and different technologies that can build toward a more virtual business structure six to 12 months down the line.
3. Do you have comfortable and relaxed communication habits with your supervisors and teammates?
Maybe you use Skype and are well-liked on your team… but could you shoot a text to someone who does graphics or pick up the phone and call your editor without extreme awkwardness?
The state of your current team interaction can either be a hindrance (Uhh…why are you calling me?) or a blessing (Hey, what up?). Strong relationships that will encourage cooperation and teamwork regardless of where you work is what makes a team shine, virtual or not.
If this does not describe your current situation, put your time and effort into building those kinds of relationships rather than crafting the perfect thesis on working virtually. Because without this vital piece, your transition probably won’t be smooth anyhow.
4. Have you proven yourself to be a resourceful, passionate and dedicated employee?
Here’s a wake up call: if you’re new to the company (six months or less), you’re wasting your breath with this request and possibly harming your reputation.
Working virtually is about trust. If your boss, HR or the CEO doesn’t trust you without hesitation to work the hours you say you have worked (and even sometimes, honestly, if your boss/HR/CEO doesn’t like you), virtual will never happen for you. Work on being likeable and give it time.
5. Do you have a dedicated professional working space at home?
Make sure you let your boss know how you’re going to do your work. Speak up about your reliable internet, scanner, printer and dedicated phone line. If you have a full-on home office, all the better.
The goal here is to give your employer the picture of an idyllic, calm and controlled workspace that just happens to be in your house instead of in a cube.
6. Finally, don’t make demands.
You’re asking a big, fat favor. You’re asking for a gift, for trust and for someone to help you make your life easier. The last thing your proposal needs is a tone of entitlement.
Give your boss every reason to say yes by suggesting it as a suggestion. Offer your reasoning, ask for permission, and ask for it to happen on a trial basis.
Try a closing line like this on your written request:
If you would allow me to try this schedule on a trial basis with room for feedback and flexibility to attend important meetings and events at the office, I feel that this venue would enable me to reach my best potential at this company.
A little groveling with a lot of logic and reasoning will pass on the perfect tone.
Let’s usher in 2010 with more giving than asking. A recent search of “advanced sourcing tips” revealed that there are a ton of “self-professed” experts, who for a bit of bling will divulge all their secrets to you. Whatever happened to sharing what you’ve learned freely with others. I have found over the years that this method of exchange returns much higher returns that can’t be measured in just dollars and cents. If you have been reading this blog, you have found numerous examples of search string algorithms to better identify both passive and active candidates. Below are just a few more. I challenge you to devise some new and more radical strings and identify more sources and venues to find those ever elusive A-list candidates.
site:*.craigslist.org/*/res “software engineer” -”this posting has expired”
intitle:resume or inurl:resume (java or j2ee or weblogic) “software engineer”
intitle:resume or inurl:resume (admin or administrator or administration or administer or administered or maintenance or maintained) (server or servers) (mail or email or messaging) (mcse or “microsoft certified systems engineer”)
site:twellow.com “software engineer” and geeks