Sunday, January 5, 2020
The Motivations of Passion and Money In their recent book Just Start Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future, Schlesinger, Kiefer, and Brown determined that, in order to do your best work, you must either be doing something that you love or something that will lead you to something you love. The desire to do your job well will allow you to be mora creative and efficient thus speeding up the progression of a career path. But does doing what you love always lead to money? The short answer is no, nothing guarantees financial success. But does that mean you should abandon your dreams of being a pioneer, starting a business, or pursuing unconventional work? Of course not. But that answer comes with conditions. For instance, if your passion wont allow you to subsist at an acceptable level or would affect your education then you probably shouldnt bet your economic stability on its success. Af ter all, without your basic needs being met you have lack the capacity to pursue your passions in any successful fashion.But even the threat of economic ruin shouldnt keep you from participating in your passions to some extent. In fact, research has shown that people who regularly work towards something for which they are passionate are more satisfied and fulfilled than those who do not. This is just as true for individuals who possess the material means to do what makes them happy.Most of the time, people who have more than enough money to consider pursuing more fulfilling work refuse to do so simply because doing so would shrink their income. To these individuals, the point where they have enough money to abandon the work that keeps them unhappy is never reached. But the assumption that they dont already have sufficient means to do so is frequently wrong.Another incorrect assumption is that doing what makes you happy can never lead to financial success. The fact of the matter is t hat you never know where your passions will lead, what you will produce, and the value that others may find in your inventions or insight. The only way to find out what your dreams have to offer is to act towards reaching them. The only way to turn an uncertainty into a certainty is to actively pursue the consequences.The fact is that you can never precisely predict the future. You can never plan for every eventuality. All one can do is move slowly, and smartly, towards making a reality and wait and see what happens. Even small steps can change reality in a big way or reveal perspectives that were previously unseen. And, you never know, you may find that your passion can and does turn a profit. But even if it doesnt, spending part of your day doing something that makes you feel purposeful and content is necessary in being happy and more productive in both your personal and professional lives. Dont let the money factor keep you from pursuing your dream.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
5 Helpful Tips on How to Write Emails from Yur Phone5 Helpful Tips on How to Write Emails from Your Phone Today, 80 percent of Internet users own a internetfhiges mobiltelefon. Its been predicted that, by this year, eight in ten schmelzglasle users will access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices . Were reading and writing more emails on mobile than ever, so getting it right has never been more important. Getting communication right (in email or otherwise) is the driving force behind Grammarlys recent launch of a mobile keyboard for iOS and Android . But, although Grammarly will help you write mistake-free messages, its combining that polish with style and substance that will inevitably make your written communication effective.Weve all seen the ubiquitous Sent from my iPhone email signatures, or sigs along the lines of, Please excuse the brevity. This was sent from my phone. These signatures, in part, are meant to excuse the sender from typos, a utocorrect slips and all those other times our thumbs betray us when we communicate via mobile devices.But just because you wield your thumbs instead of ten phalanges carefully placed on the home row doesnt mean everything you send from your phone has to look as though it was transcribed by a typing chimpanzee. Theres hope This article will guide you towards writing clear, concise emails from your mobile device with panache.Nearly half of mobile readers spend three seconds or less reading an individual email. That is, of course, if you can get them to open your email at all . But lets assume you send emails that people want to read. Your challenge is to keep those emails brief or risk losing your reader to a very short digital attention span.That means its essential to optimize. Before you put your thumbs to work tapping out your email opus, take a few minutes to figure out the key point you want to get across in your message. Ask yourself If I could have my recipient take just on e thing away from this email, what would it be? Use the answer to that question to front-load your email so that the fruchtwein critical information comes first. If you dont, your recipient might miss the point of your email entirely, or breeze past it in their haste to move on to their next email to-do.Hi Jane, Yesterday, I was talking to Jim and he suggested you would have some good ideas about the upcoming Windy City Widgets marketing campaign. As you know, Windy City is an important client and this marketing campaign is pivotal to our success here at XYZ Advertising Associates. Im going to be downtown tomorrow afternoon, so I thought we might have lunch at JBs Sammiches to unpack what the client has told us about their ad needs and deadlines. JBs is close to your office, so I thought it would be convenient. Does 1230 p.m. work for you? All the best, RichardOy That email comes in at around a hundred words, and most of them arent necessary. Lets consider all the things this messag e conveys that it doesnt have to.For starters, its not necessary to state that Jim suggested talking to Jane. Especially not up front. If Jims referral would be helpful in sealing the lunch appointment, go ahead and use it, but consider saving it for later in the email.Its also not necessary to reiterate that a client is important. Any time you start a sentence with As you know , youre probably telling the reader something they actually do already know. Driving home the point with an as you know statement can translate as passive-aggressive . Its as if youre saying, You should know this, but Ill reiterate just in case youre not good at your job. Make aya you dont come across as talking down to your colleagues.While its nice to consider a lunch location thats convenient for your colleague, its not necessary to point out how nice youre being. That extraneous information adds words, not impact.Lets front-load this email with important information and leave out any unnecessary detail sHi Jane, Are you available to meet me for lunch tomorrow at JBs Sammiches at 1230 p.m.? Id like to unpack some of the info Windy City Widgets gave us about their needs and deadlines for the upcoming campaign. Let me know if that would be convenient for you. All the best, RichardMuch better The message body comes in at a sleek forty-nine words and the all-important ask is straight up front rather than buried in a bunch of unimportant details. We can almost taste those sammiches nowCan you imagine how long it wouldve taken Tolstoy to compose War and Peace on a smartphone? If you want to really feel like a slacker, consider that one novelist wrote a significant portion of his novel on his smartphone while commuting on the subway . (And he did it nearly a decade ago.) When youre using two thumbs and staring at a small screen to craft your messages (let alone a novel), it pays to know how to keep your writing lean and mean.First, avoid common filler words and phrases . We already talked about As you know . Now, strike useless phrases like As a matter of fact , For the most part , each and every , and at this point in time from your lexicon. Your readers will appreciate your clear, concise language and youll convey your points much better without all the clutter.While youre at it, dump most adverbs . These words, which often end in -ly, are unnecessary unless removing them drastically changes the meaning of your sentence. So, dont bother thumb-typing words like basically, very, usually, extremely, probably and absolutely .Your signature may say that your email was sent from your phone, but that doesnt mean you should bypass the rules of polite email discourse .When you send email to multiple recipients at the same time, respect everyones privacy by masking their email addresses with BCC. Similarly, dont use Reply All and accidentally share an email with all members of an email chain when your reply was meant only to go to one person. And dont automatically assume t hat email is private and confidential. Avoid saying things in an email that you wouldnt say publicly. Otherwise, that email could come back to haunt you.Heres a tip Dont email when youre angry. If you must tap out a strongly-worded letter, hold off on hitting the Send button until youve had a chance to let it simmer. If you can wait, leave that letter on the back burner and come back to it twenty-four hours later. Were you more hostile than you meant to be in the heat of the moment? Could you have been more diplomatic and gotten your point across just as well? EditSome years back, my friend and I tried having a Messenger conversation by using our phones voice-to-text feature, and then sending whatever our smartphone interpreted. The result was hilariously bad. But voice-to-text has come a long way since then.Most mobile keyboards have voice-to-text functionality. On the Grammarly keyboard, simply long-press the comma key to activate your phones voice capabilities and dictate your me ssage. Once dictated, you can quickly edit or correct any misheard words .Heres a tip Speak your punctuation so you dont have to add it after the fact. Dave, did you remember to file your report? would be spoken as, Dave comma did you remember to file your report question mark.You want to make a good impression . Proofreading is one way to ensure you will. We often write hasty notes when we use mobile technology, figuring that others will forgive us because, well, writing on a mobile device has its challenges. But proofreading before you hit send isnt that complicated. And, if youre using the Grammarly mobile keyboard, you can simply press the Grammarly button once youve finished writing to check your text and make sure your grammar, spelling and punctuation are pristine. No more excuses just because you sent it from your iPhoneThis article was originally published on Grammarly . It is reprinted with permission.
Friday, December 27, 2019
This is why some companies and people still prefer fernkopierer machinesThis is why some companies and people still prefer fax machinesThe fax machine is a symbol of obsolete technology long superseded by computer networks but faxing is actually growing in popularity.Four years ago, I wrote a history of 160 years of faxing, saying my book covered the rise and fall of the fax machine. The end I predicted has not yet come Millions of people, businesses and community groups send millions of faxed pages every day, from standalone fax machines, multifunction printers and computer-based fax services. It turns out that in many cases, faxing is mora secure, easier to use and better suited to existing work habits than computer-based messaging.Businesses often use faxesFaxing remains alive and well, especially in Japan and Germany and in major sectors of the U.S. economy, such as health care and financial services. Countless emails flash back and forth, but millions of faxes travel the world daily too.A worldwide survey in 2017 found that of 200 large firms, defined as companies with mora than 500 employees, 82% had seen workers send the same number of, or even more, faxes that year than in 2016. A March 2017 unscientific survey of 1,513 members of an online forum for information technology professionals found that 89% of them still sent faxes.The persistence of faxing and the people who send faxes is in parte because the fax industry has adapted to accommodate new technologies. Fax machines still dominate, but both surveys suggested users were shifting to computer-based services, such as fax servers that let users send and receive faxes as electronic documents. Cloud-based fax services, which treat faxes as images or PDF files attached to emails, are also becoming more popular. These new systems can transmit faxes over telephone lines or the internet, depending on the recipient, handling paper and electronic documents equally easily.Legal acceptanceEven parts of the federal government preferred faxes over email for many years thereafter. Not until 2010 did the Drug Enforcement Agency allow electronic signatures for Schedule II drugs like Ritalin and opiates, which comprised about 10 percent of all prescriptions. That meant a pharmacist could accept a faxed prescription but not one scanned and sent by email.Faxs longevity also benefits greatly from reluctance both legal and social to accept email as secure and an emailed electronic signature as valid. Faxed signatures became legally accepted in the late 1980s and early 1990s in a series of legal and administrative decisions by state and federal agencies. The Electronic Signatures Act in 2000 also gave digital signatures legal power but institutional and individual acceptance followed only slowly if at all.The most recent FBI Criminal Justice Information Services policy allows faxing from physical fax machines without encrypting the message, but demands encryption for all email and internet c ommunications, including cloud-based faxing. Its much harder to intercept faxes than unencrypted email messages.Faxing and medicineAnother reason faxing hangs on is because competing technologies are weak. The health care industry generates huge amounts of data for each patient. That should make it fertile ground for a fully digital record-keeping system, where data can flow easily between patient, provider, caregivers, researchers, innovators and payers, as Seema Verna, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, put it in a speech earlier this year.Federal privacy laws and deliberately incompatible standards, however, stand in the way. Immediately after the passage of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, fax vendors retooled their transmission, reception and storage systems and procedures to protect patients personal records. Specifically, HIPAA-compliant fax systems ensure the correct number is dialed and limit who can see received faxes. Digital patient-information systems have struggled to meet the same standards of administrative, technical and physical security.The Obama administration spent more than US $25 billion encouraging doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic medical records systems. Crucially, rather than forcing competing systems to be compatible in order to receive federal support, the administration believed the market would decide on a standard to communicate.What actually happened was that competing companies deliberately created incompatible systems. Doctors offices and hospitals that use different records databases cant communicate with each other digitally but they can via fax. For many medical professionals, particularly independent physicians, faxing is far easier than dealing with expensive, hard-to-use software that doesnt actually do what it was supposed to securely share patient information.Comfortable inertiaOne more personal factor preserving faxing is users reluctance to change. Small businesses who find that faxing meets all their needs have little reason to spend the money and effort to try a new technology for document exchange. Every company that prefers faxes inherently encourages all its customers and suppliers to keep faxing too, to avoid messing up existing ordering processes.Its important to remember, too, that fax machines and multifunctional printers with a fax capability provide an inexpensive backup capability in case of technical problems with an internet connection, or even a cyberattack, like the Russian attack on Estonia in 2007.Absent a compelling reason or some management or government mandate, people often dont change technologies. This is true beyond faxing I drive a 2005 Camry. There are plenty of cars that are better in some way safer, more fuel-efficient, more comfortable but so long as the Camry passes state inspections and performs adequately, I can avoid the challenges and costs of buying a new car and learning how to use its new fea tures.International popularityFaxing is still popular overseas, too. In Britain, the 2000 Electronic Communications Act encouraged but did not explicitly authorize electronic signatures. In 2018, urged partly by the European Unions promotion of electronic identification, the British Law Commission concluded that electronic signatures were indeed legal but needed significant promotion to increase their acceptance and use.Not surprisingly, a recent survey found that Britains National Health Service operated more than 8,000 fax machines. In response, the U.K.s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock labeled faxing a symbol of National Health Service technological backwardness and pledged to introduce new technologies more quickly. In December, the National Health Service decided to stop buying fax machines in 2019 and end their use by the end of 2020. Thats the same goal the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Verna has for American doctors to stop faxing.Neve rtheless, faxing continues because it remains better cheaper, more convenient, more secure, more comfortable than the alternatives for many people, businesses and organizations. Faxing will remain important until transmitting digital data becomes easier and more accepted. That could be a long way off, though. U.S. federal initiatives are trying to make medical records systems more compatible, but no one has yet been hired to take a key leadership standort at CMS.Eventually the older generation of people more comfortable with faxing than emailing will fade away. Until then, however, fax machines will whirl away.Jonathan Coopersmith is the author ofFaxed The Rise and Fall of the Fax MachineJohns Hopkins University Press provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.Jonathan Coopersmith, Professor of History, Texas AM UniversityThis article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Sunday, December 22, 2019
6 Things Ive Learned as a Forever Job Seeker 6 Things Ive Learned as a Forever Job Seeker Ive successfully been a freelance writer for two years now, and heres the thing, freelancing is just as cool as youve heard. I get to make my own hours, choose my clients, and take meetings in my PJs. But freelancing is also just as hard as youve heard.I often call myself a forever job seeker, constantly looking for work while managing my current workload. Finding a job opening that sounds like the perfect fit is rare and getting hired is even more rare. Imagine doing that every single week. Welcome to my lifeThe good news is, just like with any job, over time, Ive gotten better at it.About 20% of my work week is spent job hunting. That means Ive spent a casual 800-plus hours job hunting in just two years. You better believe Ive become an expert. Here are my top six lessons for any job seeker1. You wont hear back from most companiesYou just wont. Learning not to take it personally is a valuable skill that will keep you from getting discouraged in your job search. For reference, if I apply for ten jobs one week, I know from experience that I can only expect to hear back from one or two.2. Your productivity is up to youHands down, the most difficult parte of any freelancers day is staying focused. Sure, I can take a random Tuesday off, but Id better be prepared to work Saturday if Im going to bill the same number of hours that week.In your job search, you dont have a manager or weekly goals to keep motivated. Set your own goals and hold yourself accountable. If you miss a day of applications, be prepared to make that day up later in the week.3. Accepting the not-quite-perfect job is not always settlingFreelancing is often humbling. One day Ill get an email announcing my article was picked up by a major online publication. Those are the days that I dreamed of as a writing student, and they feel just as good as I imagined they would. But most days arent the perfect job days. M ost days are spent editing, taking calls from profil clients, and getting plenty of articles rejected.But its the days full of editing, networking, and rejection when I learn the most. Maybe a job has some solid potential to give you that perfect, dreamy feeling every so often, but not daily. If it also has the potential to help you learn and grow, its worth it. The more you grow, the more dreamy days will lie ahead.4. You are an expert, so act like it.When I first started meeting with potential clients, I felt like I was a little kid dressing up in my moms work clothes. How could anyone want me to produce and control all of their companys content? My third client meeting ever was with a hotshot CEO at a fancy building in Chicago. The second he sat down he said, Im an expert at what I do, but I know nothing about content. Youre the content expert. I think I sat up straighter immediately.Whether you feel like it or not, you are an expert in what you do, and you have specific, valuabl e skills that most other people dont. Go into interviews with corporate recruiters knowing that you are an expert.5. Know your worthI compete with writers who accept only 20% of what I charge my clients. How can I get away with charging more? I constantly research the salaries of writers in my area with my credentials. Plus, I know the quality of my work is worth the cost.Research average salaries in your area and get comfortable respectfully countering salary offers and other benefits. But remember, never talk about salary until the job is actually being offered to you.6. Never burn a bridgeIt can be hard to bite your tongue when a hiring manager calls to tell you they are going in another direction, but its important that you do. As a freelancer, much of my work comes from the referrals of other clients, even clients for whom I only did one small project. The point is, you never know where your next job could come from, so its important to leave all of your connections with a posi tive opinion of you.One common thread throughout each of these lessons is to remain confident but humble. Know your worth, but accept that there is always room for growth in your career. Get started with an open mind, and let my 800 hours of job searching make your search as efficient as possible.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Kids today want men to be master of the house and women to stay homeKids today want men to be master of the house and women to stay homeA startling new study finds thatmillennials are elend as modern as we assumecompared to older generations when it comes to women and work.According to two sociologists for the Council on Contemporary Families, mora millennials believe that men should be breadwinners and that a womans place should bein the home. Millennials were defined by the study as people born between 1982 and 2000.Looking at high school surveys over the past 40 years, the researchers found that in 1994, 58% of the high school seniors surveyed disagreed with the claim that men should work and women should stay at home for the best household arrangement.But by 2014, that number had decreased and only 42% disagreed with the idea gendered family roles. More high schoolers in 2014 thought that the husband should make all the important decisions in the family than high schoolers in 197 6.Workplace equality - but not family equalityBut in an interesting contradiction, the majority of millennials believe that even though men should be in charge at home, men and women should be equal at work.The number of high schoolers who believe that a woman should have exactly the saatkorn job opportunities as a man has increased from 76% in 1976 to nearly 90% for the generations that followed.Likewise, more young people in 2014 - 76%- believe that a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work than in 1976, when fewer than half of young people in 1976.Men should do more choresResearchers found the results puzzling as to why millennials were regressing back to the 19th century idea of separate spheres where women cared for the private sphere of children and the home, while men got to engage in the public sphere of being the achiever outside the home.Under the logic of separate spheres, women are born to be m others and wives and men are born to be providers.What they concluded you can believe a woman should have exactly the same job opportunities as a man and still think her place should be at home if you still believe, deep down in your heart, that there are inherent differences between men and womens capabilities.Under this attitude of egalitarian essentialism, women can choose to do anything, but they are more likely to choose work thats more consistent with their identity as women.What the researchers concluded is that we need to break the belief that capability is defined by gender. That belief dictates that women are more suited for housework and work in the domestic sphere.How to make the home feel more equal? That starts with men doing more chores Achieving equity within families requires men to take on tasks that are culturally devalued (cleaning, laundry, and to a lesser extent cooking), the researchers said.Study finds that men are threatened by womens earning powerOne other theory as to why this may be happening womens advancement in the workforce isa threat to men. They then lash out about their economic lossby contributing less to the household, refusing to do womens work.A 2012 study found that men who earned less money than their wives also did less housework than men who earned more than their wives.In a separate study on this perceived threat, researcherDan Cassino found that mens political views polarize more when it seems like they are losing ground as the dominant force in politics.The problem this kind of friction is only more likely to be apparent. Around 15% of men in the U.S. make less than their partnersdo and even bringing up spousal income with them becomes a touchy subject. During the 2016 U.S. presidential primaries, Cassino, the researcher,asked men in New Jersey about the candidates. The ones who were reminded that women may make more than men were less likely to support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.One consistent conclusi on that we can makefrom these studies? Gender relations may be less of a straight line towards progress and more of a circle.
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Getting-to-Know-You Questions for Meeting IcebreakersGetting-to-Know-You Questions for Meeting IcebreakersIcebreaker questions can help participants get to know each other at a meeting, training session, or team building event. Attendees can share superficial, nonpersonal information that allows other session participants to get to know each other without the embarrassment of becoming closer than they want to become. Choose icebreaker questions that do notlage require participants to reveal more about themselves than they are comfortable discussing in the workplace. The Goal of Icebreakers Icebreakers engage the group in early conversation within their individual comfort zones. Most participants appreciate beginning a meeting or training session with quiet laughter and the chance to share something about themselves in a comfortable, supportive environment. However, if participants are still uncomfortable at the start, then your icebreakers have failed. It can also negatively impa ct the success of your meeting or training session. Customize the Questions You can customize the icebreakers so that participant responses lead directly into the topic or subject matter of the meeting. For example, if the meeting is focused on building an organizations culture, you might ask your participants to describe the aspect of your current culture that they appreciate the most. On the other hand, if the training session is about how to improve meetings, you might ask participants to identify the aspects of meetings that drive them crazy. In a training session on employee motivation, you can ask your participants to describe what most motivates them at work. For a session on improving communication, ask your attendees to think of an excellent business communicator and describe what that person does that makes for effective communication. Icebreakers for Getting to Know Each Other Depending on the make-up of the group and the overall goals of the meeting, you can use questions that ask participants about past experiences, their current activities, or their aspirations. What event do you remember most fondly from high school?Who was your favorite elementary school teacher and why?Whats a favorite family memory that has stuck with you into your adult life? Why?How do you use the information that you learned in your favorite class in your life today?What spectator activities do you most enjoy attending and watching?What was the most memorable event that you experienced in college?What is the most memorable vacation youve taken?Whats rocking your world this month? Whats the craziest thing youve ever done?Whats your favorite activity to do locally and why?Can you share three things about you that you think no one here knows?What was your least favorite class in college and why?What part of your current job is your favorite?Share one thing you love to do that you get to do nearly every day.Whats your most significant current challenge?What would you l ike to accomplish in your job this year?What is your favorite local restaurant and the meal you most enjoy eating when there? What outdoor activities do you most enjoy? How often do you get time to participate?What is one goal that you plan to accomplish during your adult lifetime?Describe your dream vacation.If money were not a consideration, what kind of a car would you buy?What do you enjoy in your favorite breakfast that you make at home?What is the best meal that you have ever made for dinner?If you could only travel to one other country, which country would you choose?What is your favorite color, and why did you pick it over all of the other choices? If you had the opportunity to adopt a pet, what kind of a pet would you get and why?When you think of the behavior of your co-workers, what behavior tends to drive you craziest?What are the characteristics of the best boss you ever had? What made that person great?What is your favorite activity in your current job? How often do yo u get to do it?If money were not a consideration, how would you spend your days? An effective icebreaker question sets the tone and tempo of your entire session. The varieties of questions that you ask your participants to discuss are limited only by your imagination and your knowledge about what your group enjoys. See what works best over time to generate comfortable discussion during your meetings and make team building sessions successful.
Saturday, December 7, 2019