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Technology in the Workplace - Boon or Curse?
Like all new innovations, technology in the work environment can either work for you or against you. What is good for the employer or is not always the same for the employee.
Is Technology Working FOR You or AGAINST You
When cellphones became available it seemed that they would fill a need for instant communication - any time, any place - that would help people be more efficient and thus save time.
Then email became a mainstream method of business communication. Marvelous - now telephones wouldn't ring off the hook, messages would not have to be stored and retrieved as verbal communications, which took time. Instead, information would be clear and concise and could be retrieved and answered any time, any where - again the promise of more freedom.
With email, internet and cellphones, was it really necessary for workers to be restrained to the office? Maybe shorter work days would ensue. Perhaps parents could collect their children from school and be contacted at home via either of these methods.
The work world was changing.
This truth came about as more workers were able to take their jobs with them. The travel from home to work and back again was no longer a barrier for actually DOING the work.
Telecommunication was making itself an integral part of conducting business. With cellphones and email, distance, time and travel were no longer barriers to conducting business effectively.
For some, this meant that coming to the office every day was an option - not a requirement.
Mothers and fathers found new freedom to take care of their children while still collecting the paycheck they needed to support them. Work could be done at home, at the park, at the grocery store, at night...
Unfortunately, this ability to work anywhere has become a nuisance instead of a luxury for some individuals. The fact that they are ABLE to do business any time, any where, means that they actually ARE doing business all the time.
Rather than free them, they found that they cannot get far enough away from work to really put it away for the day. Illness and emergencies do not stop the phone from ringing or the email from piling up - and because you can access it, there is no excuse for not dealing with it.
So for some, the convenience has become a ball and chain - creating longer work hours and constant stress. For these individuals it is necessary to commit themselves and their work mates to guidelines such as turning the phone off. Not accessing email regularly. Sticking to these rules and telling other work mates your new practices should help.
Remember that you were supposed to be ASSISTED by these devices. It is in the best interest of your health and the well-being of your family if these tools keep their proper place.
Roger Clark is senior editor at Top Career Resumes who provide free information to job seekers on all aspects of finding a new job and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.
Waiting for Lightening to Strike
Author and management guru, Peter Drucker says, "People adjust to the level of demands made on them." I would add, we also adjust to the level we demand of ourselves. At some point we grow up and pass for adults by how we look. To match that look with action requires both discipline and determination.
How Hedgehogs Hire
In my last column, I explored Jim Collins' "hedgehog" principle, and how powerfully this can be used to attract great employees. After many dozens of CEO interviews, I'm convinced that leaders with well-defined hedgehogs deploy the most successful hiring models.
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Some interview questions are asked so frequently that they've become classics. Practically every interview you go on you'll be answering one or more of these seven interview questions.
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Have you learnt a new skill or improved upon your existing skill in the last six months to one year?
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American Idol Syndrome
I like Simon, one of three judges on American Idol. I find his feedback refreshingly honest. And while his words startle me with their ego wounding potential, the traditional feel-good, let-you-down-easy, sugar-coated feedback is not much of a gift. It's hard to tell someone they're not good enough and their dreams are not going to happen, at least in this venue. But not telling them is no gift either. Some contestants rise to the challenges he throws at them. Some don't. And, some can't. Which one are you? The people who influenced me most in my career were those who gave me the hardest critiques. Stricken with a bruised-ego for days, or on occasion for months, inevitably their feedback helped me make the right life choices to improve, change direction, or stay the course with intensity. In fact, the boss who was the hardest on me is the one I thank the most. Good was not good enough if I was capable of better, and she was quick to point out when that was. No sugar coating from her. And the funny thing? When I was honest with myself, I knew she was right. Being honest with yourself is one of the challenges to winning at working. We all have talents and abilities, but they're not always in the areas we pursue at work. Too many people I've run across in my career have American Idol Syndrome (AIS). Like Idol contestants auditioning with little or no singing ability, these people believe they are good at what they do. They can't understand why they don't get the promotion, the outstanding review, or the highest increases. They view themselves as varsity team material, but they play with junior varsity skills. When I was a freshman at Stanford, I got a D in biology. Stanford graded on a bell-curve, so an 84% that might traditionally put me in a B category, was near the class bottom. Accustomed to A's, first quarter grades woke me up. At first, I rationalized a D at Stanford was an A or a B at most any other school. But, reality prevailed. I wasn't at another school. If I was going to compete at the school I was at, it was time to use more than high school skills to bring results. Are you applying yourself? Are you as good as you could be to get the raise, the promotion, or the more interesting work? If these are things you want, don't suffer from AIS. Give yourself some Simon-esk feedback. Ego aside. A Simon-esk answer to the questions, "how good are you?" and "are you in the right field?" offers you a chance at becoming happier and more successful at working. The answers give you choices: you can stay the course; find a playing field at your skill level; improve your skills to compete where you are; or change directions. (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Job Search Campaign Tip: An Activity Diary
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What Turns Potential Employers ON; What Turns Them OFF?
According to an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, these are the most important qualities that employers are looking for in a job candidate, in priority order: (1) Communication skills; (2) Honesty/integrity; (3) Teamwork skills; (4) Interpersonal skills; (5) A strong work ethic. Be sure to highlight those skills in your resume, during your interview, and in your thank-you letter. That same survey discovered the number-one thing that can turn potential employers off -- a job candidate's appearance! Specifically, they cited unusual hair color or style, body piercings, tattoos, and unusual clothing as things that most often gave a bad first impression. What you think is "cool" may be the "hot" ticket to the reject list! So keep your need to express yourself under wraps during the interview, and you'll have a better shot at getting the job.
Writing a Must-Read Cover Letter
If you want to land an interview, you'll need more than a perfectly polished resume, you'll also need a perfectly polished cover letter.
Multiple Skills for the 21st Century
(excerpted from The Weekend Seminar - Skills for the 21st Century 1999 Version)
Revitalize Your Recruiting for 2005
Happy New Year! The forecasts are in agreement: Hiring is on the rise. 2005 will mark the revitalization of our economy. In fact, hiring plans may rival 1999 statistics, when the economy was at its strongest.
Five Biggest Resume Mistakes You Can Fix Yourself
A career consultant can diagnose and overhaul a troubled resume. But you can check off the basics yourself.
Managing Emotions During Career Change and Job Search, Part One
How can you manage your emotions during your career change or job search? To answer this practical and wise question, let's first define what emotions are. Emotions, also commonly referred to as feelings, are energy released in your body in response to perceived events, that is, to data received via your five senses.
Resume Layouts ... The Hidden Pitfalls
Options for Resume Layouts
Students Discover Your Niche By Using Career Assessment
In our ever changing world where job competition is rampant it can be difficult to understand one's strengths and what one wants to do in life.
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