Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A lot to digest

There's a lot here in Sophie Lagacé's post; "More career tips and tools"

Hopefully you get some value out of it as well. Be sure to also read through the comments.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scott Adams hit the nail on the head

Check out today's Dilbert!

Dilbert.com - click to view full size

I can't say that I've been in the fabric box for all 14 years, nor does that represent my boss, but I can still relate.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Multi-tasking in Ubuntu

I just shut down Notes, I'm installing software, writing this post, moving 30GB of data - all at once.

I certainly don't miss the Windows "please close all programs before installing this software" prompt. Not even one little bit.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

One more place to look


What linkup does is collect job postings from company websites. Some of these jobs may be advertised and filled before ever being posted on monster, etc.

If you read anything from Nick Corcodilos, you'll be as surprised as I was that he recommends linkup.

Salary Privacy

Now here is an article about salary that I do whole-heartedly agree with. I've never been comfortable knowing how much my co-workers or supervisors make, and I don't talk about it with anyone. Why would my salary suddenly lose it's privacy just because I'm interviewing for a new job?

Most employers have a salary that they want to pay for a job position. My job is to make sure that I provide more value than that when I perform the job duties.

I'm finding that I agree with quite a bit of what Nick Corcodilos has to say.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why does this sound right?

I don't know if I would like Nick to meet him. What he says sure is a "kick in the teeth" to many people. But - I think a lot of it makes sense.

There's a wealth of information on Nick's site, and I definitely haven't gotten through very much of it yet. I can't say that I'd recommend following his advice (yet), but - I definitely think it's worth it to check out what he has to say.

See this article on the Personal Branding Blog for an interview with Nick and follow the link to the Ask the Headhunter site.

Notes 8.5 on Ubuntu

The install is not the same as for Windows, but the package manager makes it very easy to install software.

Setting up the client is straightforward, even though it's kicked off in a terminal session. I had a VPN connection active before trying to connect to the server, but still was unable to connect to the server. I had to configure locally first.

Passthru (a great feature of Notes!) is working fine. I still need to sort out the connection issues trying to directly connect via VPN.

Being platform-independent, the Notes client looks and acts just like it does on Windows. Well, almost like it, I need to adjust the fonts so that I can see the text on the workspace icons - for some reason all the workspace icons are blank.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Get really good at something

This statement in Chris Brogan's post on Personal Branding stood out;

"Or worse than failed, he’d have done a mediocre job."

I read recently that being really good at something that doesn't matter also represents failure.

1. Decide what matters
2. Get really really good at something that supports #1

Rheinland Bread

Bread that tastes great on it's own!

I do like bread, but I normally have to cover it with something - even if it's just margarine.

Steve Deming of Rheinland Baked Goods stopped by our office today with a sample of three German breads. Each of the breads; sourdough, multi-grain, and whole grain have a unique and distinctive flavor.

I took a slice of each and I'm really enjoying them. It's a good thing I haven't had lunch yet, 'cause I'm stuffed.

Thanks Steve!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ubuntu on the Desktop

There's still a lot of debate about this, but it's working great for me (right now as a matter of fact).

I didn't finish this article yet, but it made one point that caught my eye. Organizations that are still using Windows XP (or even Windows 2000) are perfect candidates for switching to Linux (Ubuntu was recommended) as they will be facing the need to upgrade their operating systems and hardware just to maintain updates. By switching to Ubuntu; they could avoid the cost of both the software and hardware upgrades.

I'm running Ubuntu 8.10 on a very old "throwaway" laptop (a Dell Latitude C640). It performs better than the Dell D610 that I use at work running Windows XP.

Time will tell if Ubuntu exhibits the kind of decay in performance that XP does after installing and uninstalling applications.

Interesting take on big failures

This blog posting on Tom Ziglar's blog makes some interesting points;

“All great failures are moral failures" is thought provoking.

"Never forget: Just because you are of the opinion that something is not true doesn’t mean that you won’t be governed by it if it is true."

Gravity is true; so I don't jump off of buildings.

Adherence to a moral standard in order for society to function effectively. True?

I know my answer. And I don't define the standard myself, I attempt to adhere to the one given to me.

A faint ray of hope

As I reported on February 25, I've been given the opportunity to seek new opportunities.

My boss has actually been working on a proposal to keep me and have me take on a support role for a Java-based project. It's looking less like that's going to happen. In the interim, I did pick up a Java book and viewed some great tutorials. Java is a cool programming environment that I should stop ignoring.

Speaking of learning Java, check out tip #4 in this article; 5 Savvy Job Search Strategies

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

recently on Seth Godin's blog

The Panhandler's Secret

The ingenuity of a panhandler in coming up with a win-win situation struck me.

Most of what I've been reading lately advocates providing value before ever asking for anything. Everyone who has been blessed by interacting with me will want to return the favour at some point. And many times; that's not the point - it's not give to get. It's just give. Period. Because I've already been given everything.

Doesn't this just make sense? Isn't this part of what we learned in kindergarden? or maybe Sunday school?

Think win-win. Or - no deal.

Monday, March 2, 2009

More ways to use Linkedin for job searches

In Reverse Headhunting with LinkedIn, Rob Pitingolo gives some good insight into the use of Linkedin for job searching.

Keep in mind, it's not necessarily the person you connect to who will link you to a job - it may be one of the people that person connects you to.

We're all in the same boat

This article; How Do You Network When Your Network's All Laid Off? is getting dangerously close to describing my network. There's some really good advice about how to present the fact that you're "looking".

I'm finding that most people are very open to connecting on linkedin. I don't think anyone feels their network is big enough or diverse enough any more. Linkedin does have some very good search capabilities as well, if you're attempting to do business or gain employment in a particular field or geographic location.

Not quite far enough

This article from Kevin Eikenberry advocates being intentional about TV viewing.

What if it went one step further? How about an "over the top", "you gotta be kidding", "there's no way that's going to happen" kind of idea?

Here it is.


Disconnect your antenna or cable.

Think about it.

How would your life be different? What would you do instead of watching TV?

Now just in case you're thinking; I bet Rick watches TV. You're right; I do. Our TV is connected to a DVD player and a VCR. Cable; no. Antenna; no. So when we do watch TV, what we watch is intentional. We actually have an antenna on the roof, and when we moved in three years ago I asked my daughter if she wanted me to connect it. Her answer; "No, I'd just waste time watching TV".

How's my life different? Well; I do spend a lot of time behind a computer. In the last few years I've learned a lot about the automotive industry, Linux, marketing, ministry, etc. I've kept up with pictures from friends and family in Facebook.

But the most noticeable part for me is how I look at advertising. For the most part, it's difficult for advertisers to reach me. I don't even listen to broadcast radio. What I've seen over the last few years is that advertisers are getting louder and more outrageous as they seek to get our attention.

Keep in mind this point; the purpose of TV and radio is to deliver advertising. All the programming is created to ensure that you're there to receive the advertising. That's the bottom line.

30 seconds

That's all the time my resume has in the hands of a hiring manager before a decision is made; keep - or toss.

Check out this posting from Liz Lynch and the mp3 file of the tele-seminar.

Some of the suggestions may help to get my resume in the right pile.

Ideally, my resume is in someone's hands because they asked for it. That's one of the reasons I'm pushing so hard right now to build my network on linkedin (www.linkedin.com)

When I look at my career, and the job interviews along the way - I'm reminded that it's been quite a long time since I've had an interview with a stranger based on a job advertisement that resulted in a job offer and placement. The last time (and only time since graduating university) it has happened for me is May of 1986. Almost 23 years ago! Every other job change/career move has been the result of leveraging a personal recommendation.

If you see a good suggestion online, please leave a comment here or email me at; rick dot vangameren at gmail dot com

I wish you the best in your job search!