I was raised with business in the background and the foreground. When I was in middle school, my parents bought their first motel -- a small beachfront property on the Jersey Shore -- and moved our family into an apartment on the second floor. We lived like that, alongside my parents' work, for the rest of my teen years until I went off to college. Working for yourself feels natural to me, so it's not all that surprising that I followed their path. But the model of self-employment I've chosen is worlds apart from theirs. They ran a physical business with employees and property. I work entirely on my own, with a laptop, a phone, a virtual assistant and a rotating group of colleagues and clients.
Like it or not, more people are going to be joining the ranks of the self-employed whether they do it in my parents' style, in mine, or in some other way altogether.
If you didn't grow up with entrepreneurship in your DNA, one way to catch up is to study at the heels of Pamela Slim, a
Blog Posts by Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy
- Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy | Work + Money – Fri, May 15, 2009 10:55 PM EDT
I was raised with business in the background and the foreground. When I was in middle school, my parents bought their first motel -- a small beachfront property on the Jersey Shore -- and moved our family into an apartment on the second floor. We lived like that, alongside my parents' work, for the rest of my teen years until I went off to college. Working for yourself feels natural to me, so it's not all that surprising that I followed their path. But the model of self-employment I've chosen is worlds apart from theirs. They ran a physical business with employees and property. I work entirely on my own, with a laptop, a phone, a virtual assistant and a rotating group of colleagues and clients.Read More »from Getting a self-employed mindset: 5 questions for Pamela Slim
Since I started looking into where the jobs are and who's hiring now, a few things have become clear:Read More »from Where the jobs areâ€”share your stories
1. Some of the very same companies firing people are hiring in other departments or for other functions. But companies don't seem committed to retraining their employees, so people will need to invest in keeping their skills current.
2. Many of the people turning to part-time work, consulting, freelancing and side businesses as stopgap measures will likely find that these activities are the new normal rather than a transitional place.
3. Companies and organizations that help people save money, find jobs, or retool their career skills, are hiring and growing.
What's your take on all of this? Do you agree or disagree with my assessments? Have you found untapped or under-the-radar opportunities in this new economy?
Getty ImagesRecently I went to a conference without any business cards. When people asked me about it, I said I was "going green" and saving paper. In truth, I just forgot. I know. That's a weird move for a career columnist. But in my case, business cards don't serve much use anymore. I have a website and email address so easy to remember that if anyone wants to find me, all they need to do is remember to spell Marci with an "i" not a "y." And you can find me on pretty much any social network.Read More »from Business cards go creative, and cheap
That said, I'm in the minority on this one. As I quickly learned when I wondered aloud on Twitter whether people still care about business cards now that so much of our contact information is posted online. Moments after my tweet, I was barraged with messages from people who are still clinging closely to their business cards. Job hunters need them. Those seeking clients need them. And if you're dealing with people from other cultures, proper business cards are expected.
Business cards are not only here to
- Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy | Work + Money – Mon, May 11, 2009 5:31 PM EDT
I'm in the middle of reading The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, a memoir by Jacqueline Novogratz. The book traces her journey from her time as a young banker in Africa to her current role as the founder of the Acumen Fund, a new kind of venture fund that invests in market-oriented approaches to solving problems like access to health, water, housing and energy, around the world.Read More »from Seeking happiness in tough times? Help someone: 5 questions for Jacqueline Novogratz
As I thought about her life, I started wondering what is it that makes people like Novogratz able to do what the rest of us merely wish we had the ability to do -- make real contact with people in need and actually do something to move them out of poverty. I was especially curious about what Novogratz would say to people living in the developed world who are so worried about their own diminished financial well-being that they find it hard to imagine how they could meaningfully affect the lives of less fortunate people in Africa or Pakistan.
So I had a meeting
Read More »from Want to get someone's attention? Listen
Getty ImagesLast week I experienced something rare. I did an interview with someone who listened far more than she spoke. It was all the more unusual since I was supposed to be the one asking the questions.
I left with the feeling that I had been talking with a very smart and thoughtful person. I also left feeling flattered that she cared about my opinions.
I brought up this experience while talking to my friend Kibum, who is in his first year at law school. He was bemoaning the state of affairs in his classes where over-eager "gunners" reliably raise their hands each day to ensure that the professors choose them to answer questions in front of the class. (Clearly, nothing has changed since my law school days.) Kibum, who is of Korean descent but was raised primarily in the US, believes that Americans are obsessed with hearing ourselves speak. In Asia, he explained, there is so much emphasis on being deferential to your elders, that even when you are older, you naturally take more of a listening
- Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy | Work + Money – Tue, May 5, 2009 2:07 AM EDT
I've been thinking a lot about time management and productivity lately, so I decided to check in with Gina Trapani, who is best known as the founder of Lifehacker (one of the most highly trafficked blogs in the world), and the author of the book "Upgrade Your Life," an indispensable guide to how to work smarter in the digital age. When I last interviewed Trapani, she was still editing Lifehacker, which is owned by Gawker Media. She left that position in January. These days she divides her time between computer programming, writing for her personal blog, Smarterware, and freelance writing for a variety of publications.Read More »from A career in transition: 5 questions for Gina Trapani
We chatted via phone and email about going through transitions and forging a new path away from a brand you've been closely identified with. The following is a condensed version of our conversations.
So how does it feel to be just Gina Trapani after four years of being Gina Trapani, editor of Lifehacker, where you had one of the most powerful voices in the blogosphere?
Getty ImagesAfter writing about adult internships as a way to explore career change or freshen up your skills, I heard from several people asking why I didn't cover the legal issues around these arrangements. The main reason is that these issues are mostly of concern to employers, not to the people seeking internships. But since the question has been asked a few times -- and since it lets me flex some muscles I haven't used for a while -- I decided it was worth answering.Read More »from Adult internships: Are they legal?
Regardless of which side of the deal you're on, it is is a good idea for everyone to be aware of potential legal concerns.
There are two main issues to think about: whether an intern is doing work in violation of labor laws, and whether the employer is exposed to any liability based on things the intern might do while on the employer's premises or acting on behalf of the employer.
To get a better understanding of the labor law side of things, I called Joel Rice, an employment lawyer with the Chicago office of Fisher & Phillips
- Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy | Work + Money – Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:50 PM EDT
Read More »from Who's Hiring Now? Places that help people save moneyâ€”or find jobs
Getty ImagesWhile headlines continue to report on the grim state of the job market, people are finding jobs every day. This ongoing series will bring you snapshots of who's getting hired now with the backstories of how they snagged their jobs.
This week's stories come from Coupons.com, an online coupon distributor in California, which is rapidly expanding, and Bottomless Closet, a nonprofit in New York that trains low-income woman in job interviewing skills, and which just added one new position. I liked these two stories because they show that job opportunities have a relationship to the news. The growth of Coupons.com feeds off of two big news trends -- everyone is looking to save money and newspapers are cutting pages. Another big news story is that volunteerism is up (both because of President Obama's call to action and the large number of unemployed people who are giving their time), so again, it makes sense to see new hiring at an organization staffed by volunteers, especially one whose
Getty ImagesWhenever I write about networking, I get requests for tips about what techniques work best for shy people. I guess I understand why. The word networking conjures an image of a person who zips around a conference or party, chatting up what looks like a flock of followers. But many folks nurture large networks without being extroverted or outgoing. Instead they build relationships one-on-one or in small groups or devise novel ways of staying in touch. Often, they are gifted at helping others behind the scenes.Read More »from Networking tips for the shy or introverted
Gretchen Rubin, an author who writes the immensely popular blog, The Happiness Project, was grappling with this very question around the time she started her blog. Gretchen is very smart, especially about figuring out what she needs to do in her career. (She's got two degrees from Yale, has written three books, and clerked for a Supreme Court Justice.) But she is an introvert. And she says that networking does not come naturally. In fact, that's part of how we met. We belong to a
Today's post comes out of desperation.Read More »from Proud of your multitasking? Think again.
I spend my days toggling between computer windows. I start reading something, take a break to check email or Twitter, chase a link and open another window, telling myself I'll get back to that first window later. I return to the item I was working on, many moments later, only to have completely lost my train of thought. At the end of the day, I close down the computer with some 20 or 30 windows open. If I'm using Firefox, my good fortune (or punishment) is that the next time I start up, those windows greet me anew, creating a virtual to-do list that I'm just as unlikely to get to as I was when I first opened each of them.
My multitasking is not confined to my laptop. While preparing my morning tea, I might be paying a bill and getting it ready for the mail, fixing the dog's food and my own cereal, and trying to pay attention to the morning news. (After all, we should be able to do things while just "listening" since that's we do while driving.)