The first in our series of mentorship panels will be on Tuesday, May 8. Titled How Does She Do It?, it’s for working moms at all stages of their careers. As the date approaches, we wanted to find out a little more about the many ways in which the panelists approach working outside the home while also being caregivers. Today we spoke with Meeta Kapadia, whose career has taken her from a high-ranking corporate job at a large bank to being the head of digital operations at a startup. During the panel, we suspect she’ll have a lot to say about how different styles of work end up affecting life at home as well as at the office.
Do you have any advice for working women who are about to be moms? What should they be doing NOW if they plan on going back to work later?
Talk to as many women who have done it as possible. This really helped me with figuring out what conversations to have with my manager (and which ones not to have). Get to know your company’s leave policies very well, and talk to someone in HR if you’re unclear on anything. Talk through a plan for reconnecting with your manager prior to coming back so that you know what to expect. Try not to commit to working remotely (i.e. just a conference call here and there, etc.) during your leave before you actually have your baby and know if that’s going to be possible. And it’s important to try to appreciate the time you have with your new baby before you go back to work, whether that’s six weeks or six months. It’ll be over before you know it. Read More →
An estimated 80% of freelancers have a painful story or two about not getting paid, but it’s rare that they can present a united front about their woes. But that’s changed now, with the debut of the World’s Longest Invoice, a project of the Freelancers Union.
To help draw attention to its efforts to pass the Freelancer Payment Protection Act in New York state, the Union has been asking anyone with unpaid bills to add a line item to its monster theoretical invoice. At the moment, the amount due is north of $3.8 million — and steadily rising. Do you have outstanding invoices of your own? Be sure to get them on there….
One day, the consultant and copywriter Justin Lambert found himself thinking that he was “getting absolutely nowhere” in his blogging. Not a good place to be, and probably not an uncommon sentiment, either. But what was different was what he did next. Read More →
The first in our series of mentorship panels will be on Tuesday, May 8. Titled How Does She Do It?, it’s for working moms at all stages of their careers. As the date approaches, we wanted to find out a little more about the diverse ways in which the panelists approach working outside the home while also being caregivers. First up: Jan Brown, a life coach who focuses on helping moms grow, develop, and maintain their careers.
Are any careers better than others for working moms, in your experience? I would say that it’s not about the career, field, or company per se. It’s about the amount of control you have over your schedule. A higher degree of control over one’s schedule makes it easier for a working mom. That can be sought and found in lots of careers and fields. Read More →
Jim Hopkinson, our Salary Coach, is back to help you stay productive as well as get paid — this time he covers questions from those who want a decent amount of time off as well as a good salary — a sometimes-thorny proposition.
If someone already knows the salary range being offered and is thrilled with the amount, but wants more vacation time instead of more $$$, would a company be willing to give someone 10/12/14 days more vacation time (over what’s standard for a new hire) over the person negotiating/asking 10K-20K more in salary? I assume the company always expects someone to counter-offer their first offer? Read More →
User experience design (UXD), the science of structuring information and developing user flows, is breaking out of its native-digital niche, where it originated as a planning and architectural tool for developing website and apps. Now it’s a critical element in many different kinds of marketing strategies.
Understanding the full range of consumer experiences with a brand is a critical factor in building awareness, engagement, and advocacy — and in framing or evolving a value proposition that integrates and emphasizes features and benefits in believable and sustaining ways. Read More →
Frances Codd Slusarz, an attorney based in Stamford, Connecticut, will be blogging for us about the complications, confusions, and, yes, legal issues that can arise in the workplace.
The confessional parting shots that Greg Smith and James Whittaker aimed last month at their former employers (Goldman Sachs and Google, respectively) might have made you itchy to share your own workplace gripes with the whole interwebs (or at least your Facebook friends). You’re a brave soul and a leader, just like them, and how else will you change what is wrong? How else is everyone going to know that you are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?
Let me make a suggestion: keep your mouth shut. Read More →
Jonathan Hills is a product developer and strategist who blogs for us about how traditional companies, particularly media brands, can reinvent themselves in the digital age.
When I began my career in digital back in the dark ages of the late 1990s, online video was something you rarely ran into. And if you did, it consisted of a postage-stamp-sized clip of blurry pixels that took about 10 minutes to stream via RealPlayer. Now, video’s everywhere. According to Comscore, over 180 million people in the U.S. watch online video every month.
With an audience that big, it’s not surprising that more and more brands are trying to grab a piece of the pie -– especially since online video advertising continues to grow at a rapid clip. So what’s the best way to build a viable online video product? Here’s a hint –- it doesn’t involve talking heads.
There are three things the Web really doesn’t need any more of. The first is group-buying sites/emails/apps. The second is photo-sharing apps. And the third is talking-head videos. Especially talking-head videos of website editors talking about something they’ve just written about 15 minutes ago. Read More →
Today is Equal Pay Day. Right now women workers earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar paid to men (this is according to the National Partnership for Women & Families, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group working for equal pay and benefits in the workplace). So in addition to it being Tax Day, today also marks the number of extra days in 2012 that an average woman needed to work to earn as much as a man did just working in 2011.
It’s tempting to just want to complain. But instead of kvetching and working ourselves into a lather about companies taking advantage of women, we can actually do something about it by owning the situation and not taking it anymore. Read More →
Alison Green of Ask a Manager heads to U.S.News to cover the questions that applicants should be asking at their job interviews (but often don’t). They’re questions that move the conversation forward, and their answers can actually help you know what the job’s going to be like, rather than just serving to butter up the interviewer. Things like “How would you describe the culture here?” and “What would a successful first year in the position look like?”
Maybe the most important thing to remember is to ask SOMETHING during the interview: “… if you don’t have any questions, you’re signaling that you’re not very interested in the job or you just haven’t thought much about it.”
[Photo: Milos Milosevic/Flickr]
Roughly a third of all American workers are contractors, temporary workers, self-employed, or some other kind of independent, or “contingent,” worker. And that rate seems to be going up with every year.
Even though it’s a smart bet to think that you might be on your own at some point in your career, lots of us act as if we’ll always be doing more or less what we’re doing now. But if and when you suddenly find yourself out of work — or your job description changes rapidly — it can be a major challenge to try to figure out at that point how to get your career moving again.
The consultant and writer Alexandra Levit, an old hand at working for herself and dealing with the challenges of being a contingent worker, has some advice to help traditional workers get comfortable with doing what it takes to be their own boss. It’s mainly about building skills: Read More →
When you’re a Hired Gun, it’s you who needs to manage your own career. But that doesn’t mean that you need to do it all alone. A network of like-minded peers can be invaluable when it comes to navigating today’s confusing world of work. That’s why we’re so happy that we have that very kind of network right here at The Hired Guns, one made up of outstanding executives who have survived and thrived throughout their careers.
The idea sharing in our community is unbridled. In the last year, we’ve been unlocking it with our blog, and now we want to unlock it further with our new series of mentorship panels. Here we’ll tackle head-on all the most important aspects of career management by looking to the best and brightest people we know. Read More →
One of the main reasons we hesitate, procrastinate, or fail to take action is that we feel like we lack the power to act.
When we’re out of work or stuck in a dead-end job, or struggling to get others to buy in to our ideas, or even to return our phone calls or emails, it sometimes seems as if we have no leverage at all.
But guess what: You have a lot more power than you think!
Last month I introduced the Five Levels of Proactivity model and discussed the key reasons why we may not be as proactive as we might like to be -– and how you can go from being inactive and reactive to super-proactive. Now I’d like to show you how to give yourself the confidence boost you may need to proactively take your game — and your career — to the next level. Read More →
Taking a break for some exercise in the middle of your workday may have you getting more done. A Swedish study that was published in The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that physical exercise can improve productivity, even with a reduction in working hours.
In the study, employees at six “dental healthcare workplaces” were excused from work for 6.25% of the time (about 2.5 hours a week). One group had two mandatory exercise times, and the other group just got the reduced working time. The results? Both groups showed increased levels of productivity, even though they worked fewer hours. The exercise group also had fewer sick days on average. Read More →
Maria Coder teaches workshops and webinars on how to investigate your date in advance to avoid the con artists and cheaters in this world — she’s also the author of InvestiDate. As you’ll see below, her methods can also be adapted to help you suss out the right job as well….
Sure you’re looking for work, but are you reading between the lines? Sometimes what we’re looking for is right there, screaming out our name, but we miss it. Well, whip out your magnifying glass and prepare for your next assignment. Here are some surefire tips to arm your job search.
First, switch “fedoras.” Do you often search LinkedIn as a prospective employee? Next time, log on and imagine you’re a recruiter seeking to hire someone. Look at the right of the home page, where it says “jobs you may be interested in.” Would you really be interested in those jobs? If not, chances are your keywords are off on your resume. Keep redoing your profile until you see jobs that you want in that space. These days recruiters rely heavily on keywords; if those aren’t working in your favor on your screen, they’re not helping you on the recruiter’s end either. Read More →
Last month, Jim Hopkinson taught a Hired Guns Academy class about negotiating your salary effectively. He’ll be teaching for us again, but until then, you can still learn from his ample experience. Below, he answers questions from the Hired Community about dealing with counteroffers and other potential salary complications.
I have an exciting new job offer and am in a bit of a quandary. I want the new job very badly but wish that the base were a little higher. Even though I desperately want out of my current company, I was thinking about going back and asking for a counteroffer so that I can get a bump from my new company. Good idea? Read More →
For an article in the Phoenix Focus’s “Career Trends” issue, Ashley Milne-Tyte spoke with Allison Hemming about shrinking companies and how they’ll change hiring and self-employment in the future: Read More →
Too often, people approach their public speeches as if they were book reports. In lots of book reports, you simply describe something in which you generally have no stake. But to succeed in just about every conceivable professional setting, you need to not just describe your point, but SELL your point. Read More →
This June brings the second annual User Experience Awards, which honors and celebrates outstanding UX projects and practitioners. To find out about the awards and the submission process, we checked in with the founder and president of Oxford Technology Ventures, Beverly May, who will be moderating the awards. If you have a project, idea, app, site, or software that you’d like to have considered, you still have a little time to get your ducks in a row — the deadline for submissions is May 1.
Why now? What changed about UX and design to make last year a good time to launch the awards?
UX has become more widely understood and recognized as a key differentiating factor in an ever-more-crowded digital marketplace. When there’s hundreds of thousands of apps, or dozens or even hundreds of competitors in your space, suddenly the product experience becomes very important for user adoption and retention. UX was always important, but it wasn’t as well understood as a separate discipline and approach, and its importance wasn’t as widely recognized and valued in terms of strategic differentiation. There’s been increasing recognition that a customer-centric design and product approach is really the only way to build high-impact, effective, useful, and engaging products and services. Companies who launch or, more likely, maintain legacy products with bad UX are increasingly putting themselves in a strategically weak position and are opening up the opportunity for a competitor with superior UX to gain considerable buzz and market share. Read More →