Today's post comes out of desperation.
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.)
Blog Posts by Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy
Today's post comes out of desperation.Read More »from Proud of your multitasking? Think again.
Getty ImagesInvesting in yourself is all the rage these days.Read More »from Investing in your career, like any other asset
New York Magazine just ran a special advertising section called "smart investments," which had me expecting plugs from mutual fund companies. Instead, it was a spread on summer course offerings from The International Center for Photography, Pratt Center for Continuing and Professional Studies and a few other adult education programs.
People are spending money on everything from education and coaching to wardrobe overhauls, makeovers, and plastic surgery as long as they think that these expenditures will spiff up their image or their skills.
This thoughtful piece "Jobs Are the New Assets" in last week's Time Magazine, sums up the thinking perfectly.
Barbara Kiviat writes:
Your portfolio is down 50%, your mortgage is worth more than your house, and your savings account is barely visible. The job, meanwhile, is making a roaring comeback. Not in a statistical sense, of course. We are in a recession, after all: at 8.1%, unemployment
Getty ImagesEver wonder how much you'd earn if you changed jobs or careers? Curious about what your colleagues make, what your boss makes or what other people doing jobs like yours earn? Now there's a way to find out. Or at least a way to get awfully close.Read More »from How to figure out what you're worth
A new site, Glassdoor.com, has taken a lot of the mystery out of who makes what. Hop onto the site and plug in the name of a company and a position and then see what comes up. If the employer is one for which Glassdoor.com doesn't yet have data, then you'll have to be satisfied with looking at a company where you think the pay is comparable. You can also put an occupation title into the search bar and get some answers about what that job function commands at a variety of different companies in different cities.
Knowledge is worth a lot in all kinds of negotiations -- from deciding on a job offer to figuring out if you're being offered a proper annual review -- and with information like this, you can be armed before you go into those
Getty ImagesYou're stuck. You want to change careers and can't figure out how or what you're even good at. Maybe you've been on scores of interviews, but no one's biting. Or worse, you've sent out hundreds of cover letters and resumes and the phone is not ringing. These are all indicators that it might be time to hire a career coach.Read More »from How to hire a career coach
When I changed careers nearly 10 years ago, hiring a coach completely jumpstarted my process. Career changes and job searches take a long time and I'm impatient. I also had a lot of fear and anxiety about the process and I didn't want to overburden supportive friends and family with my constant need to talk about my process. I figured that working with a professional who'd seen hundreds of others through transitions was a way to speed things up. And it did. I used my coach for about 8 sessions to come up with a plan and a strategy; after that, I called her for advice now and then, but mostly felt comfortable on my own.
Here's some things to think about if you're
Getty ImagesEarlier this week I wrote about how to find the perfect part-time work to fit your life and I recommended considering something entrepreneurial rather than a job since it would provide more flexibility. And as if the blogosphere were listening, soon after that, I discovered this excellent post, 50 Side Businesses You Can Start on Your Own, by Trent Lamm, the author of 365 Ways to Live on the Cheap. (Actually, Lifehacker discovered it first.)Read More »from The best side businesses
Clearly, Trent is a man who likes lists.
And I like this list for several reasons. Many of his ideas are the kinds of businesses that grow out of hobbies (e.g. antique refurbishment, auto detailing, cake decorating), and if you're working on a side business, you'll dedicate more time to it if it dovetails with your natural interests. Also, many of these ideas have low or no start-up costs, which makes them fairly low-risk. Finally, they are the kinds of businesses that can start out as experiments and expand into something bigger.
Check out the
- Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy | Work + Money – Wed, Apr 15, 2009 1:43 PM EDT
Personal branding has been one of the hottest buzz phrases ever since Tom Peters wrote a "Fast Company" article way back in 1997 that turned into the book, "The Brand Called You." The notion is that individuals are all brands -- much like our running shoes and kitchen appliances (though some of us are clearly more running shoe than refrigerator). And from that flows the logic that we all need to cultivate and nurture our brands so they thrive and prosper just as the brands managed by big business.Read More »from How to manage your personal brand: 5 questions for Dan Schawbel
There's a new kid on the personal branding block -- Dan Schawbel -- and he's taken Peters' principles to their next logical incarnation -- branding in the social media age. I call him a "kid" because at 25, he is also part of the new generation of Internet wunderkinds who have become so adept at spreading their ideas online that they write their first books and hit the morning show circuit when barely out of college.
Now that we are all publishers -- writing personal blogs, answering
Getty ImagesPart-time work is on the rise, and it's no surprise. People are taking on extra jobs to make up for hours or income lost, an out-of-work partner, or even a business facing hard times. But part-time jobs can me more than a stop-gap money generator. They can also be a training ground for career reinvention or an audition for a full-time position with both parties getting a chance to try before buying.Read More »from Finding the perfect part-time work
I was on "The Today Show" on Sunday speaking about how to find the best part-time jobs and what to think about before taking one. Television goes quickly so while we covered a lot, there was much more I wanted to say -- which I'll do here.
Before you start searching for a part-time job, there are a few things to consider, especially if you already have a job and you'll be layering part-time work on top of that.
1. If you have a full-time job, try to find something that is compatible with your full-time job. So, if you have a job that requires you to be functioning early in the morning
Getty ImagesWhile headlines continue to report on the grim state of the job market, people are getting hired every day. This ongoing series will bring you snapshots of who's getting hired now with the back-stories of how they're snagging the jobs.Read More »from Who's finding jobs now?
This week's job successes include a nonprofit manager who made a move when it seemed like no one was hiring, an engineer who tweeted his way to a new gig, and an event planner who created a full-time position out of two part-time jobs to bring in extra cash during her slow season.
Dan Zarrella, Boston, Mass - From one job in online marketing to another position within the same industry.
Time searching: About a month
Techniques: Enhancing and promoting his "personal brand." Networking on Twitter
His story: When Zarella got laid off in December from a position at an online marketing firm, he took an approach that is becoming increasingly common -- he immediately worked on enhancing his personal brand and made himself more known in the community where he
- Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy | Work + Money – Tue, Apr 7, 2009 11:02 PM EDT
Read More »from 7 deadly sins of networking, and how to avoid them
Getty ImagesAt a time when nearly all of us are scrambling for opportunities and helping others to do the same, people are in networking overdrive. Not a day goes by that I don't get a few emails from friends seeking introductions to other friends. All that connecting carries a huge risk of mistakes and missteps. Here's just a sampling of the many ways that well-intentioned attempts at networking can go wrong, and some simple ways to do better.
1. Asking for an introduction when you are too busy to properly follow up. We've all been there. You learn that someone you know knows someone you want to know and you are champing at the bit. You shoot off an email without much deliberation, the person replies promptly (since you have a mutual contact), and because you're completely swamped, you find it impossible to make time to meet.
Solution: Next time you learn that one of your contacts knows someone you want to know, file that information away and tell your friend you might ask for an intro when
- Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy | Work + Money – Mon, Apr 6, 2009 5:05 PM EDT
The freelance marketplace is a cauldron of activity. Those of us who have been at it for years are finding work from the very employers who have been showing employees the door. And many of those exiting employees are realizing that it's about time to acquire some freelancing skills -- whether for short-term survival or long-term livelihood.Read More »from The secrets of smart freelancers: 5 questions for Michelle Goodman
When it comes to dispensing smart advice about freelancing, there is no greater guide than Michelle Goodman, author of the books, The "Anti 9-to-5 Guide" and "My So-Called Freelance Life." Not only does Goodman have the answers to the most vexing questions about freelancing, she is also a vocal advocate for the rights of freelancers, and for reminding independent workers to speak up for ourselves. Below is Goodman's wisdom on how to survive and thrive as a freelancer today.
Shine: Freelancing must be more competitive than ever with all the formerly employed folks now in the game -- is there enough to go around?
Goodman: There's still a ton of