The importance of devloping your skills and working hard

Today’s advice and motivational message comes from non other than Will Smith. Watch this video and ask yourself if you are as dedicated to developing your talent and improving your skills as he is.

Sure, he’s an actor and he’s doing something he loves, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something you love as well. But remember, hard work is an important aspect of success.

Extreme hiring – psychological scrutiny and rigorous simulations

It’s getting tough out there. Employers are realizing that the old ways of screening out job candidates, particularly candidates for executive positions, are insufficient in today’s competitive world. Employers are employing much more thorough tactics, such as psychological scrutiny and rigorous simulations. Some are calling it “extreme hiring.”

It’s Andrew Noon’s first day on the job, and already he has had to discipline a worker, thwart a departmental turf war, cajole two recalcitrant employees, convince an irate customer not to cancel a contract and present his strategic plan for the next three years to the company’s chief executive, complete with flip charts. But the boss, the employees and the customers are actors. The company is fictitious. The office space is an assessment center outside Pittsburgh. At least three trained observers are listening to Noon’s every voice mail, reading his every e-mail and watching his every move. The whole exercise is a simulation designed to determine his readiness for the executive suite at Mutual of Omaha.

To prepare, Noon, 35, spent the weeks leading up to his assessment poring over reams of fictitious financials and memorizing fake org charts, employee bios, product descriptions, company histories and global sales breakdowns. He also took three personality tests, each consisting of 200 to 300 questions designed to uncover his levels of sociability, creativity and ambition and to identify any “derailers”–talent-management-speak for the dark side.

Psychological scrutiny and rigorous simulations are fast becoming a requisite part of the interview process. Gone are the days when a clutch golf swing or well-schmoozed dinner might score you a spot in the C-suite. The downturn has shed a decidedly unflattering light on subjective hiring practices. Even the standard application-interview-résumé-and-reference-check formula has come under fire for being too soft and unreliable.

In many ways this makes sense, but it would make even more sense if the results are compared to feedback given by that candidates former co-workers and superiors.

More Americans are delaying retirement

Here’s an interesting article on 6 reasons why more Americans are delaying retirement.

Early retirement is no longer the goal of most workers. Even retirement at age 65 now seems unattainable to many people. The majority of Americans now expect to work until age 65 or later.

The number of Americans planning to retire before age 65 has dropped from 50 percent in 1996 to 29 percent today, according to a recent Gallup survey of 1,020 adults. Meanwhile the proportion of people planning to work until after age 65 has increased steadily from 15 percent in 1996 to 34 percent this year. This is the first time in the 15-year-old survey that more current workers planned to retire after age 65 than before it. Another 27 percent of current employees plan to retire exactly at age 65.

Many of the reasons are financial. The stock market correction over the past several years following the financial crisis certainly had an effect. Even without the crisis many Americans had done a poor job of saving for retirement.

At the other end of the spectrum, many people just like their careers and want to stay active in their jobs. Those are the good stories.

One issue that may change involves health care. Many continue to work until 65 in order to keep their group health insurance. With the new health care reform bill, perhaps it will easier for many to retire early.

Nationwide Insurance is hiring

Nationwide Insurance is planning on hiring 1,400 people across the country, with about 600 in its home state of Ohio. Nationwide specializes in auto insurance.

The Columbus-based company just announced it earned a profit for the first quarter.

There are more and more signs that the economy is turning and that the job market is following suit. Hopefully that’s good news for those of you looking for work.

Property Managers Take Charge

Advantages of Using a Property Manager

A property manager can relieve you of many of the headaches and inconveniences of owning property. Whether you have commercial or residential property, a manager can do such tasks as collecting rent, handling repairs and emergency situations, dealing with unruly tenants and cleaning the space once they leave. A manager’s constant monitoring of your property will also ensure that your investment’s value is being maintained. You’ll find property managers available in most cities around the country who have the knowledge and expertise to deal with all property management issues.

Worry-free Property Ownership

If your property is an investment, you probably have a job or other activities that take up the majority of available hours in your day. A property manager takes on a multitude of tasks of property ownership, freeing up your time for other business or personal matters. By hiring a reputable and trustworthy property manager, you can own property out of your area, own multiple properties without being overwhelmed by their management and travel for business or pleasure with the knowledge that your property will be cared for while you’re gone. With a manager overseeing your property, you’ll be assured that your rent will be collected and deposited on time. The property manager – instead of you – will handle repairs. No more leaving work or interrupting your sleep or weekends to deal with emergencies.

Property Manager is There to Help

Evicting a tenant is an unpleasant and awkward situation, and a property manager can help you with this by serving legal papers or eviction notices. Once the tenant has moved, property managers can do necessary repairs and handle the cleaning and painting. They’re trained professionals who can also conduct an analysis to determine if you’re charging the rent that the market will bear. They can then develop a marketing and advertisement strategy to help you find the best tenants for your commercial or residential space.

Working Abroad – Opportunities in Dubai

Working and Living in Dubai

Dubai has emerged as a global city, and is surviving the economic turmoil of 2008 and 2009. Over three-quarters of the city’s population is foreign-born; the free-trade and easy immigration policies have populated the city with people from all over the world. Dubai is a clean, entirely modern city, it’s oldest structure being an old British naval fort from the year 1799, and its newest the famous Dubai Tower, the tallest building in the world. Working and living in Dubai is an exciting experiment in the 21st Century’s fastest growing city. One of the best ways of finding opportunities to work there is through searching for jobs online.

Employment for Foreigners in Dubai

Professionals from all fields are needed in Dubai – from engineers to lawyers. The city has emerged as a stable and safe environment, friendly to outsiders, and agreeable to businesses from around the world. It’s a unique haven for growth in the Persian Gulf, an area that offers few such places. Foreigners who work in Dubai can expect to find a hot climate, but plenty of air conditioning; Dubai is home to the world’s only indoor downhill ski resort. It’s also a gateway to the beauties of the Persian Gulf’s waters. Websites that feature jobs in Dubai offer a lot of interesting, competitive jobs for professionals who want to leave their home country and work in the Middle East.

Life in Dubai for Foreigners

Unlike most Middle East countries, where foreigners have to follow local customs and dress codes (especially women), Dubai is a monarchy that enshrines freedom of religion and expression. Many of the residents are from India, as the country employs hundreds of thousands of foreign workers in its famous construction projects. Dubai offers all the comforts and amenities of a modern city – in fact, it’s the world’s most modern city. Lots of information about jobs there can be found on the Internet.

Earning Through Affiliate Marketing

If you are an online seller, joining affiliate marketing programs can provide a nice source of extra income. In these types of marketing programs, affiliates earn rewards in the form of cash or gifts for referrals and customers they bring in.

Here are some proven ways to earn money through this method of marketing:

*Focus on a Specific Marketing Area

Discover what niche could draw in a wide spectrum of customers. Watch sites like Amazon or eBay to see buying and selling trends. When you find out which niche in the market is the best fit for you, go to a search engine to find the affiliate program that best corresponds with your niche.

*Build a Website or a Blog

Having your own website is your virtual storefront. Sites like WordPress and Blogger offer free sign up and templates for creating your blog. In addition, you can typically purchase domain names at a variety of sites for an inexpensive price. Once you start a blog or website, use keywords and tags designed to increase traffic to your page.

*Join Affiliate Programs

Sign up for affiliate programs closely related to your chosen marketing niche. If you choose to focus selling books, for example, you should sign up for affiliate programs that offer books.

*Start Advertising Your Affiliate Programs

Search engines will look at how many websites link back to your web page. You can increase traffic to your website or blog by leaving your website URL in online forums or comment boards. Marketing through social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, is also an effective means of increasing traffic and creating new customers. You can also write articles for different sites and leave your website URL at the end as another means of drawing visitors.

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