May 31, 2011 1 Comment

Different Perspective on the TSA

I was listening to the radio and heard a report on morale among airport security screeners. They are subject to the anger and nasty comments of scores of passengers every day. Nobody likes the procedures for airport security screening. The shoe removal and pockets emptying is bad enough; if you happen to require a full body pat down, that’s even worse. But this report noted that it’s bad for the screeners too. They hate it just as much as we do, if not more because of the rude comments they are subject to while just doing their jobs.

If you use air travel, whether for work or pleasure, what do you say when you’re going through airport security screening? Is your attitude one of cheerful co-operation or surly resentment? Do you treat service personnel in a hotel or restaurant that same way? Think about it.

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May 31, 2011 1 Comment

6 Tips for Getting the Hourly Rate you Deserve

Contractors and freelancers are often asked to name their hourly rate for jobs, or state their salary expectations. Depending on the industry and the type of work you’ll be doing, rates can vary widely. I personally have found that for jobs I can properly scope, quoting a flat rate for the entire job is more worthwhile. But sometimes you need to know what figure to quote for work that will be billed at an hourly rate.

Here are some ideas that have worked for me:

  1. Determine how much you’re willing to do the job for. You will have a sense of how much it costs you to work (transportation, child care, clothing, lunches, etc.) and about how much per hour you’d need to earn to make it worth your while to take the job. That figure is your low end, rock bottom amount. See what they’re willing to offer above that figure. If they offer less, you must realize that you’ll be losing money by taking that job. Unless there’s a compelling reason to take that particular job, or if you have some other way of making up your shortfall, tell them thanks but you really need to be making at least $XX.00 per hour.
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May 23, 2011 No Comments

Social Media Ripples

Like dropping a stone into a calm pond, building your social network starts ripples that will pay off in ways you cannot even imagine. When I talk about networking for business, I mention the analogy of planting seeds. The harvest doesn’t come instantly, but when it does, it usually turns out to be well worth the wait.

A ripple spreading out across a pond takes time to travel, too. It may collide with other ripples, started by other stones — yours or someone else’s. Our social media activities are small gestures, just 140 characters, or a short status on Facebook, maybe even a brief comment on a blog. This is far less work than traditional business networking activities. You can achieve more with less effort.

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May 21, 2011 No Comments

Value of Social Media

Here’s a perfect example of how using Twitter and other social media tools pays off.

In reading the book Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or ReInvent Yourself, I was confused by a paragraph on blog templates. I tweeted my question to the authors via their Twitter contact info provided in the book. Within moments, I received an answer to my question, which generated a follow-up exchange.

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May 17, 2011 No Comments

Networking in the Connected Age

Traditional businesses in the offline world, or “bricks and mortar” companies, had the same needs as anyone doing business online today: getting the word out about their products and services. Way back when, pre-1992 and the Web, we used personal networking as a powerful channel to tell other people about our businesses and get referrals.

We joined the Rotary Club, hoping for the chance to be a guest speaker and have the opportunity to talk about our business. We joined the local Chamber of Commerce and charitable organizations; we served on committees, meeting people who could, it was hoped, refer clients to us, especially after they got to know us and knew of our integrity and business smarts.

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