Telecommuting issues emerge at Yahoo!
There are may significant advantages for a company letting workers telecommute and work remotely. Productivity often increases as this flexibility makes workers happier. In today’s world, it’s important for a company to offer this option for some jobs.
Yet there are disadvantages when you don’t have workers together on a consistent basis. It’s impossible to replicate the casual environment of workers being together at lunch and around the office. Much gets done when people are together.
Every company needs to strike the right balance, and that’s what Marissa Mayer is trying to do at Yahoo!, but her recent announcement has sparked a backlash.
Here’s a clip:
“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”
Just reading this, it seems like this could have been handled better by bring up the issue and looking at specific jobs. As stated above, balance is best.
But I suspect the problem may have gotten out of control at Yahoo! and that has prompted Mayer to take a hard line. Workers can be very productive at home in terms of how much they work, but it’s harder to keep workers focused on what’s best for the company if they are always at home.
It will be fascinating to see how this story develops.
Posted in: Your Business, Your Career, Your Network, Your Team, Your Workplace
Tags: cafeteria discussions at work, company productivity, corporate productivity, hallway discussions at work, happier workers, I want to work remotely, impromptu team meetings, improving work performance, Marissa Mayer, Marissa Mayer controversy, Marissa Mayer telecommuting, productivity, remote worker revolution, remote workers, rise of remote workers, team collaboration, telecommuting, telecommuting advantages, telecommuting from home, telecommuting issues, work from home, worker productivity, working from home, working remotely, working side-by-side, workplace, workplace collaboration, workplace productivity, Yahoo!, Yahoo! telecommuting, Yahoo! workplace
Big data jobs
As we’ve reported many times, tech and IT jobs are booming, and it’s not just in Silicon Valley. There’s a real need for more workers who have engineering, math and science degrees, and that’s driving our immigration debate as well.
Here’s an article about booming “Big Data” jobs in Cleveland.
With innovative hospitals and strong universities, Cleveland had been seen as a likely player in the quest to make sense of the sea of data, much of it health care-related, generated by digital technology. But local entrepreneurs from different industries are showcasing the potential sooner than expected.
Spun out of the Cleveland Clinic three years ago, Explorys already employs 85 people searching and organizing health care data and the prospects are as bright as its hip new offices in University Circle. Suddenly, economic development specialists are eyeing Big Data, and its potential for Cleveland, with new intensity.
The articles gives plenty of details on this trend and how the new health care policy to push to digitize health records will drive this trend even more. Think about how this will affect how doctors might diagnose and treat diseases as we learn more through data mining. This could also be a great career for doctors and nurses who love analyzing data and statistics.
Posted in: Your Career
Tags: Big Data, big data jobs, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland jobs, data mining, data mining jobs, doctors, Explorys, Explorys jobs, health care jobs, hot new IT jobs, hot new jobs, IT career, IT gigs, IT hiring, IT jobs, IT positions, IT professionals, nurses, Silicon Valley, tech career, tech gig, tech hiring, tech jobs, tech positions, tech professionals, technology career, technology gigs, technology hiring, technology jobs, technology positions, technology professional
Asking good questions can help your career
When you consider the types of skills you need to succeed in your career, it’s common to think about skills that relate specifically to the jobs you are seeking. But there are broader, universal skills, like critical thinking, that are just as important.
One skill that’s rarely considered involves the ability to ask good questions. This skill applies in countless settings, from job interviews, dealing with co-workers and customers, and also in negotiations. One of the best ways to disarm a tough negotiator is to ask very specific questions about the consequences of what they are asking for.
This article discusses questions as a conversational tool, and explains the difference between good and bad questions.
“As someone who had little to no experience in business–outside of running my own one-man freelancing operation–all that’s really saved me (so far) from madness are the skills I used as a journalist,” says Evan Ratliff, who wrote for magazines like The New Yorker before founding his startup, The Atavist. One of those skills, he says, is “being able to formulate questions that deliver useful answers, whether from advisors or clients or whomever.”
Good questions can move your business, organization, or career forward. They squeeze incremental value from interactions, the drops of which add up to reservoirs of insight. Of all the skills innovators can learn from journalists, the art of the expert Q&A is the most useful.
The problem is, most of us ask terrible questions. We talk too much and accept bad answers (or worse, no answers). We’re too embarrassed to be direct, or we’re afraid of revealing our ignorance, so we throw softballs, hedge, and miss out on opportunities to grow.
read the entire article to see some of the examples, and it will help you refine your questioning skills.
Posted in: Your Career
Tags: asking good questions, asking questions, asking questions in business, bad questions, conversational tools, general job skills, good questions, how to ask questions, job skills, journalism, journalism skills, questioning skills, questions in the workplace
The emergence of social entrepreneurship
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With the rise of social media and the emergence of tech entrepreneurs giving money to charity, many of the lines between non-profits and regular businesses are starting to be blurred. Here’s a summary of the issue.
Whether there is a profit motive or not, the notion that business has a role to play in addressing societal issues is at the heart of today’s discourse on social entrepreneurship. Defining what social entrepreneurship is as well as the difference between it and traditional non-profit management as well as philanthropy is a flourishing discourse. Coined by Bill Drayton of Ashoka in the early 1980’s, the term social entrepreneurship has become somewhat of a catch-all phrase. Originally it referred to someone with the passion of an entrepreneur tackling a social challenge. Now, it has evolved to a number of meanings including but not limited to social interventions with distinctly business characteristics as well as businesses themselves.
With his remark, Dr. Yunus hit upon one of the main themes of the book: the blurring line between profit and non-profit, business and charity when providing a social good. The term non-profit organization has been used to describe what an organization is not rather than what it is. The equalization of social service work with non-profit balance sheets became sacrosanct. In order to do good, common practice and wisdom told us, we could not also do well. Now, that notion is being turned on its head. Not only do social investors believe that it is possible to do good and do well, other aspects of the old mindset are falling away. Many non-profit organizations are developing profitable income streams to both help their constituencies as well as the sustainability of their organizations by ensuring a stable bottom line. Throughout this book, stories of individuals and organizations are blurring the distinction between profit and non-profit are presented.
Read the entire article. It might spark some great ideas!
Reviewing the most popular interview questions
So you’ve got an interview scheduled? How do you prepare?
One thing you should definitely do is review this list of the 50 most common interview questions and start working through answers.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Why do you want to leave your current company?
It’s a long list and none of them will surprise you. Also, you’re bound to get some off-the-wall questions as well so there’s no way to have a ready answer for everything. But working on this list will give you time to think through subjects you’d like to bring up in an interview, and many of these prepared answers will help you come up with things to say in response to the unexpected questions.
Posted in: Your Career
Tags: common interview questions, interviews, job interview advice, job interview process, job interview questions, job interview research, job interview strategies, job interview tips, job interviews, list of interview questions, popular interview questions, preparing for interview questions, preparing for job interview, tough job interview questions
College presidents rake in the big bucks
Is the college game rigged against you? No, we’re not talking about fixing college football games. We’re talking about the problem of college costs and runaway student debt. With that in mind, this article about salaries and expenses for college presidents will probably get your blood boiling.
E. Gordon Gee makes millions as president of Ohio State University, but a Dayton Daily News investigation found the university spends almost as much for Gee to travel the globe, throw parties, wine and dine donors, woo prospective faculty, hang out with students and staff and maintain a 9,600-square-foot mansion on 1.3 acres.
Since returning to Columbus as the university’s president in October 2007, the 68-year-old Gee has pulled in $8.6 million in salary and compensation, making him the highest paid CEO of a public university in the country.
But his expenses — hidden among hard-to-get records that the university took nearly a year to release — tally nearly as much: $7.7 million.
Gee’s spending is kept out of the public eye because it can be tallied only by examining multiple reports, including the quarterly discretionary expense reports delivered to the trustees and not easily obtainable by others. The Daily News first requested records documenting Gee’s work day, housing, American Express statements, travel expenses, discretionary spending reports and other data in September 2011. The university did not fully respond to the request until August 2012.
Those records show Gee stays in luxury hotels, dines at country clubs and swank restaurants, throws lavish parties, flies on private jets and hands out thousands of gifts — all at public expense.
The Daily News investigation found the university spent more than $895,000 for gatherings at the Pizzuti House, the president’s mansion, between April 2008 and June 2011.
Yes, Gee raises a ton of money, bet when if ever will tuition-paying students see any of the benefits beyond new construction on campus? Things have to change.
Posted in: Uncategorized
Tags: administration costs at colleges, affording college, college affordability, college costs, college game rigged?, cost of college education, crippling college costs, dramatic rise in tuition, E. Gordon Gee, E. Gordon Gee expenses, E. Gordon Gee salary, inefficiencies at colleges, is college worth investment, Ohio Sate, picking a college, reducing college costs, runaway student debt, soaring costs of college, soaring tuition costs, tuition costs
Best companies to work for according to ‘Fortune’
Messages at work? No wonder Google is #1 on Fortune’s list of the 100 best companies to work for.
Previous rank: 1
2011 revenue ($ millions): $37,905
What makes it so great?
The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of free massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.
Check out the rest of the list.
Should these benefits like messages be taxed? I don’t think so.
Posted in: Your Career, Your Compensation, Your Workplace
Tags: best careers, best companies to work for, best jobs, compensation taxes, employee benefits, employee compensation, employee perks, Fortune magazine, fringe benefits, income taxes, perks on the job, taxing employee benefits, taxing fringe benefits, unique employee compensations
Considering job swaps
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There are all sorts of new management ideas and trends these days, but the idea of the job swap is very interesting, and possibly very useful.
One morning in May Nadim Hossain drove to work, sat in a weekly sales forecast meeting, met with the marketing team, and gave feedback on ad messaging. Only it wasn’t his office, his job, or even his company.
À la the TV show Wife Swap, Hossain, then vice president of marketing at San Francisco-based PowerReviews, was in the midst of an executive job swap. He traded roles for the day with Jon Miller, VP of marketing and co-founder of San Mateo, Calif., software firm Marketo, hoping to gain some insight into his own role by experiencing someone else’s.
It worked. Since PowerReviews — now owned by Bazaarvoice — is a Marketo customer, Miller came away better understanding the issues facing chief marketing officers. Hossain, for his part, returned to PowerReviews with pages of notes on ways to motivate his sales team, woo big brands, and identify leads. “A fresh environment is always a good way to generate new ideas,” Hossain says.
Check it out and then consider this for members of your team.
Posted in: Your Business, Your Team, Your Workplace
Tags: business management, business management ideas, considering job swaps, culture of innovation, empowering employees, Empowerment, encouraging innovation, fostering innovation, generate new business ideas, innovation, innovation challenge, job swaps, management, management techniques, management trends, managing people
5 Details for an Unforgettable Business Card
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Business cards are a great way to leave a lasting professional impression long after an introduction. When it comes to quality business cards, it’s all about the details. Small details turn can a forgettable business card into a memorable one, giving you the edge over your competition.
Poorly cut business cards show potential clients that you have subpar standards. They’re highly unprofessional can provide a negative reflection on the way you carry out your business. If it looks like your toddler took a pair of scissors to your business cards, you might consider demanding a refund. The same is true if your cards have frayed edges or worn sides. A professional, clean cut is non-negotiable.
The Personal Information
Business cards convey important contact information for potential clients and should always be kept up-to-date. It’s imperative to order new business cards as soon as the information on your current ones is no longer accurate. Never try to recycle old cards with penned in corrections, as that implies your company is cheap, unprofessional, and does not pay attention to detail. If any updates are made to your business, your business cards must be updated simultaneously.
The Business Logo
Your business likely has a brilliantly designed logo, but unless that logo conveys a major household brand your customers will not remember your business name. A logo can help to recall the memory of potential business associates even if your company name does not, so always remember to include your business name with your logo if it is not in the logo itself.
Mustard yellow could be your favorite color, but putting it on a business card will cause some of your potential customers to ditch the card immediately. This doesn’t mean that your card has to lack color completely. The trick is to make it subtle and keep the contrast high. Colors should be tasteful and easy on the eyes. It’s easy to be put off by poorly colored cards, which will cost your business money in the long run. You don’t want anything to keep your customers from reading the important information displayed on your business cards.
Font plays a big part in whether or not your clients can read your business card. Make sure you consider your client’s interests ahead of your own, as some fonts can be very difficult to read. Even the more formal fonts of calligraphy can pose a problem to some customers. Keep it simple to reach your target customers.
Business cards are continuous advertising. They are also a reflection of your business choices and your attention to detail. The goal of your business cards is to make them an unforgettable piece of your business and a memorable staple attached to your name.
Protecting your professional reputation
Are you someone who is respected in business? Do you meet deadlines? Do you avoid making excuses when things go wrong?
Your professional reputation is critical, and it goes far beyond your core competency for your job. It’s often about the little things, like being prepared for meeting and being responsive.
This article provides a very handy list of the little things you should pay attention to.
Posted in: Your Career
Tags: business reputation, career advice, career information, career opportunities, career tips, careers, help your career, meeting deadlines, preparing for meetings, professional reputation, protecting your reputation