Latest Articles

The Secret to Happiness

Elaine Grogan Luttrull of Minerva Financial ArtsThis is the first in a three-part blog series by Elaine Grogan Luttrull, CPA, founder of Minerva Financial Arts, and author of Arts & Numbers (Agate B2, 2013). In her three pieces, she’ll address the connection between budgeting and happiness (really?), the five-step budgeting process she finds most effective, and the challenges associated with managing cash flow within a budget.

I wish the secret to happiness or professional success was simply budgeting. Wouldn’t that be easy? I mean, it wouldn’t be fun or exciting, but at least it would be clear.

But as it turns out, professional fulfillment, creative liberty, and technical satisfaction in your career isn’t something you can solve with one task (even one as powerful as budgeting).    Read More →

Five Skills I Use Every Day: Tammy Sachs, Strategic UX Research Consultant

Tammy Sachs of Sachs InsightsTammy Sachs is the founder and CEO of Sachs Insights, a strategic UX research consultancy. Having had the good fortune to enter the world of branding and market research with the advent of the PC, Tammy has been fascinated from day one about how technology continues to shape how we communicate, learn, transact, and relate to brands and one another.

Sachs Insights is her sandbox to channel her curiosity, try out research techniques, and collaborate with an amazing group of colleagues and clients. While discovery is exciting, Tammy’s favorite part of each project is telling a story with the voice of customers to ensure their perspective shapes experiences that matter. She was kind enough to share the five skills she uses daily while helping clients uncover new ways to improve their products.    Read More →

How Innumeracy Can Destroy Your Career

If you Google “literacy foundation,” you’ll find over 26 million results. All of those on the first page are dedicated to actual efforts to promote literacy.

If, however, you Google “numeracy foundation,” there are barely 3.5 million results. The first page is filled with curriculum-based results, rather than organized charitable efforts to help people actually understand math. Thinking that perhaps few people use the word “numeracy,” I checked “math literacy.” This gave me a healthy 28 million results. I had hope — briefly — until I noticed that not one single result on the first page was an organized effort to promote such.

I mention this because I am afraid innumeracy is going to bring us down.    Read More →

Final Days to Get Your Tickets to the 3rd Annual UX Awards!

The biggest UX event of the year is just days away. The 3rd Annual International UX Awards are on Tuesday, May 21 right here in NYC! 10 exceptional submissions will be awarded prizes, so come see their awesome work and meet the winners from all over the globe!

This year’s UX Awards also features a keynote from Mashable CTO Robyn Peterson. Peterson will discuss Mashable’s recent redesign and key UX industry trends. The 2013 jury panel includes’s CEO/CTO Cindy Jeffers, Google’s Tomer Sharon, Netflix’s Chris Jaffe from CA, Moment’s John Payne, Agile UX maestro Anders Ramsey, IXDA NY Local leader Lis Hubert, and Cory Lebson from UXPA DC!

The Hired Guns is a proud sponsor and supporter of this important event, and we’ll definitely be there. It’s going to be a very inspiring and enlightening night, so make sure to get your tickets ASAP!

Sign up here. And be sure to use the discount code “TheHiredGuns” for 20% off the ticket price.

How to Regain Your Confidence and Recapture Your Mojo After a Layoff

Confident Kid is ConfidentI really loved my job. And then my boss walked in one day and informed me that I was being laid off. That was a little over three years ago. There’s a lot more to the story than that, but it’s what happened next that I most want to talk about.

Upon receiving the news that day, I felt confused, disoriented, shocked, lost. It was around 10:00am on a Wednesday morning, and after going to the same office every day for the past three years, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with the rest of my day. Or my week. Or my life. I guess I was just supposed to go home. But the reality hadn’t really sunk in yet, and I wasn’t quite ready to face my wife with the news.

So I left the office and meandered aimlessly up Broadway with no specific destination in mind. Before I realized it, maybe an hour or two, and 50 blocks, later I somehow ended up at 81st Street and Central Park West, right in front of the American Museum of Natural History. So I went in and just wandered around Africa and Asia for a while, then the Planetarium, before settling under the big Blue Whale.    Read More →

To Bee or Not to Bee: The Future of Being Your Own Boss

The future looks bright for us freelancers and solopreneurs. The day will come — and come soon — when we will be recognized more for our ability to help build strong businesses than our gypsy existence. Why? Because businesses will need us to be the eyes and ears of what is happening outside of their business. Businesses (and sectors) have, for too long, been insular in their approaches and models. The result of this insularity has been stagnation. Those businesses need people from the outside to bring in new perspectives. Think of us as the bees of the coming economy – cross-pollinating ideas and best practices among and amidst the big companies.    Read More →

Sara Horowitz: On Independence, the Future of Work, and Her New Book

Sara Horowitz, founder of Freelancers UnionNo one is doing more to secure the financial well-being of freelancers than Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union and author of The Freelancer’s Bible. Her new book is filled with vital info for the experienced freelancer and the novice alike, and covers everything from landing (and keeping) clients to reputation management to setting fee structures, negotiating contracts, and surviving dry spells. She’s also the driving force behind Dispatches, a site devoted to highlighting the ideas and builders behind the new economy. She was kind enough to answer our questions about the new book and the emerging freelance economy.

How did freelancers’ rights become your passion? Given your father and grandfather’s ties to labor rights (a union lawyer and a union vice president, respectively), did you find that it was just in your blood?

I was lucky in that I grew up in a family where I always knew it was an option to grow up and help workers. So when I was misclassified as a freelancer after law school, I saw that there was a new kind of worker that needed to be organized. Back then (the mid-1990s), people didn’t really know what a “freelancer” was. Now, our 200,000 members are proud to be freelance. The institution we’re building with them is really the next wave of unionism.    Read More →

UX Visionaries Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden talk about their new book Lean UX

Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden are veteran User Experience designers and Managing Directors at Neo, a global product innovation company. They’re also the authors of Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience. Jeff and Josh graciously answered a few questions about their new book and the future of UX.

What, in your own words, is Lean UX?
Josh: It’s a response to the new reality of software production. Software is no longer duplicated and distributed on physical media. It’s updated and distributed continuously. Designers need a new way to work in this new reality. Lean UX is a response to this new reality.    Read More →

Three Personal Branding Tools You Should be Using Today

No, this isn’t another article about how Facebook or Twitter should play a part in your job search. This is a piece about three cool little apps that you might not know about, but should. If you’re in the job search or just building a personal brand, these three personal branding tools can get you a lot of very attractive mileage without a lot of effort.

Vizify is a great personal branding tool that allows you to create an infographic-style bio. Vizify aggregates your content from other social platform and delivers it to visitors in an engaging, side-scrolling graphic presentation with call-outs about work, interests, and general interests. What’s new here isn’t the content that Vizify displays, but the display itself. It’s clean and intuitive, and — perhaps best of all — it updates automatically. Unlike LinkedIn, you won’t develop fatigue from constantly updating the blasted thing manually. If you’re looking for a quick one-stop location to give recruiters and hiring managers, Vizify is a fun and useful alternative to LinkedIn’s dry and purely informational content.    Read More →

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