Latest Articles

Meet the Mentors: Jan Brown, Our Working-Mom Coach

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 →

Job Hunting: How to Negotiate Vacation Time

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 →

How User Experience Design Is Reshaping Marketing and Branding

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 →

Bullet Points: The Rise of the Supertemp

Free Speech at Work? Maybe You Should Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

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 →

Online Video: Annoying Orange Beats Talking Head

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 →

It’s Equal Pay Day: How Are You Going to Get Yours?

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 →

The Questions to Ask at Your Next Job Interview

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]

What Freelancers Can Teach Traditional Workers

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 →

The Hired Guns Academy Announces Its New Series of Panels on Mentorship

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 →

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