Shift Happens

Yesterday at work I had the pleasure of sitting with the managing director and various interested parties at work to discuss the future of technology. One of the really interesting parts of this discussion was the fact that I was constantly able to speak of the technical aspects and our MD would always bring that back to business realities.

During the meeting we watched an amazing video called Shift Happens and also Shift Happens 2.0 which raised a lot of interesting points about globalisation. The video is very US-centric, but realising the implications on Australia is honestly quite eye opening.

If you haven’t seen these videos already, I strongly suggest watching them. If you’re in a business that is potentially effected by the statements, I even more strongly recommend considering what this means to you and how this will effect your life. Because it will effect your life.

In a world of outsourcing, our lives change daily and the effects of growing economies such as India and China are effecting our lives all the time.

Ask yourself…

  • Can I be replaced by someone overseas?
  • Am I costing my company money, or making my company money?
  • Are there necessarily advantages of having me sit in my seat in Sydney?

Time to get beyond LinkedIn

TalentBar wrote an interesting article today on the value, and declining value, of information provided by social networks such as LinkedIn. My own company, Xpand, are expert at using social networks to find information, however it can become easy for anyone (ourselves included) to get caught up in the vastness of this information. Excerpt from Time to get beyond LinkedIn:

Twenty years ago, you had to build contact information databases the old fashioned way: a ton of cold-calling. But this aspect of our business is going the way of $2 gasoline.

We have to move beyond this initial shock of so much contact data. Master the tools, but then move on – because the value of that simple data is declining every day. Remember, executive recruiters and their clients often know the five obvious potential candidates. So why do they use a recruiter?

Whether you’re in recruitment or any other industry that may require you to gather corporate information, there is a lot of evidence to suggest these tools are highly valuable, but are also losing their value. Clients now have access to our networks and are motivated to use them as cost-cutting methods to outsourcing recruitment.

Value the data you have at your fingertips, but don’t allow the vastness to confuse the fact that the data you have is useless if you do not utilise it as urgently as you would any other lead available in your network.

Catching the eye of a recruiter

Interesting article on KRIS.TV today titled “Catching the Eye of an Executive Recruiter”. It makes some obvious points, some less-obvious points and misses one key area to finding the attention of a recruiter.

One of the points it raises is that recruiters are only interested in the roles they are working on. This absolutely should not be the case with a good recruiter and finding good talent should always be a priority for this kind of individual.

This raises the most important point missed in the article: find good or even great recruiters who are inside your network.

With so many recruitment agencies who barely know what they are doing, make sure you find a recruiter you can genuinely partner with. Find a recruiter who your colleagues and friends deal with a lot, who comes highly recommended and meet with them. Make your recruiter your friend.

In a mutually beneficial recruitment partnership the candidate owes as much to the recruiter as the recruiter owes to the candidate. Offering your consultant a degree of exclusivity, prompt feedback and regular updates are an excellent start to making yourself a priority to your recruitment consultant. Offering them referrals is an even better way to stay front of mind – good people should always know other good people.

This brings me to my last point: know where your CV is. Your CV is a personal document and a window to your professional career; not knowing who has it is a fatal mistake made by a vast majority of candidates. Nothing will ruin your name in the recruitment marketplace like dozens of consultants fighting over representation rights or clients seeing your CV from multiple agencies. Long story short: don’t be a CV whore.

Employers Choice to Ban

Before I begin I would like to make the following statement: I completely support the employers to choose which websites and activities are banned within the work place and I believe that as an employee of said workplace, you should adhere to these guidelines. This being said, the rules don’t apply to me, so leave me alone while I have a little rant.

My colleague who sits opposite me fields calls from his on-again off-again girlfriend several times a day, is nagged by her for a whole bunch of unimportant stuff, hangs up and complains to me. This equates to, approximately, an hour to an hour and a half of his day, every day. Not only this, but the same colleague has several lunch’s, spends significant time singing to himself and generally being unproductive.

Another colleague of mine is a heavy caffeine addict. She makes several cups a day, coupled this with numerous visits to Starbucks, plus the additional time spent at the thermos collecting hot water and chatting. She also has a boyfriend who likes to phone a few times a day. I know this, because when I get coffee she is always there and tells me so.

I raise these two points not as issues, but I think they illustrate that there are only so many hours that an employee can be productive. I think if you spend 10 – 12 hours a day in your office space working, there come periods in your day that to maintain your productivity, and sanity, you just need a break.

Until three weeks ago I would occasionally log on to Facebook and check messages once a day, which usually takes around 10 minutes, I’m not a very popular, and I’d do this once a day. Also, I may log on to MSN via once or twice a day to arrange my evening with my girlfriend/friends and/or catch up with a few friends from back hom.

Now thanks to my good friends down at MimeSweeper I no longer have either. You see, as a business decision my company has decided to block these websites due to the fact that it’s a time wasting sites and it promotes a lack of productivity.

I tend to think the fact that during my 10 – 12 hours a day, the fact my mind wanders for an hour a day is pretty insignificant, especially since I don’t even break for lunch. Is it impossible to fathom that these websites are a pretty minor distraction in the work place and that letting staff send the occasional message to plan their weekend/evening, rather then letting them worry about it, could actually be more productive?

Consider it.

Wish me luck (part 2 of 2)

Well I just finished my interview about an hour ago now and I already got a call from my first referee. I think the interview went extremely well and I am pretty confident I have a chance at the job. The boss and second in charge conducted the interview and they were just awesome. They were both very straight forward and to the point and I could tell right away that they were the type of people I would like to work with.

Just because the interview is over, doesn’t mean I don’t mean luck. There may have been others who impressed them, so keep me in your thoughts and keep sending me positive mojo. I really want this job, so think hard people!

Wish me luck!

In about an hour and a half I will be sitting down taking a job interview. It’s a good sales position that will definitely make me happy, keeping me in Dubbo for a while longer to spend more time with my friends. As much as I want to enter the IT industry in Sydney, I think I want to do it at my own time and take each step when I am certain I am ready. Kevin has been kind enough to give me boarding quarters at his house if I should move to Sydney and I want to thank him so much for that, I know that sooner or later I will be taking up this generous offer when I move to Sydney.

Mik, Ryan, Luke, Liam, Dessy, Rob, Dave and everyone I am probably forgetting have been wonderful friends to me since I returned to Dubbo. I didn’t know these guys until around 8 or 9 months ago and they are already some of the best friends I have made in my life. I know I haven’t seen the guys in a while because I am looking for work, but I hope they know how much they and their friendship means to me. I think if this interview goes as well as I hope I will grab a few beers and go see them all this afternoon and thank them for putting up with me being so distant lately. I love you guys!

If you manage to get this before 3pm my time, please put me in your thoughts. If you get it after, put me in your thoughts anyway because I am not the only person going for this job. I totally need some good mojo coming my way because I really want this job. The working team, the location and the position all suit me so well and I hope I can make this happen. Wish me luck!

The Big Day (Part 2)

I arrived early for the meeting which meant I was also out early. It was a really good meeting and I feel very good about it, although I pretty much received the information I already knew. There is little to no help for any business startups within Australia, and literally none for anyone who isn’t receiving government benefits. It was suggested that I begin receiving the benefits, but I am not sure about it, I think I’d rather look for work and use that as a secondary option.

I think the most valid point about starting my business was made the other day by Mik. He said something to the effect of, “do you really want to live in Dubbo that long?” He is so right, I don’t want to live here that long at all. I want to leave now, so I can’t see that feeling any different in a years time, even if my business is starting to shape up. I think maybe I will continue to look for work and perhaps even consider finding work outside this area, most likely in the Sydney area.

One thing I can honestly say, I really felt the mojo. I received 13 emails (shame they weren’t commented here) in the small 2 hours gap since I made my last post and I also received wishes of luck from a few pals. All I can say is that I felt the love and thanks to everyone who was thinking of me.

The Big Day

Well in about 1 hour and 3 minutes I will be sitting with some business analysts and discussing the feasibility of a web design and print business in the Dubbo area. While I wouldn’t be marketing it only to Dubbo, this area is in desperate need of a web design studio and print costs are way overpriced and it would be an easy market to break.

I think I am pretty realistic in saying that I do have doubts about whether it will happen. Finding start up capital will not be easy and it’s already been said that if I am not receiving government assistance I will find it hard to locate any grants or government assistance. It’s silly in a way, their message seems clear; “unless you already have your hand out, we won’t help you” which makes little sense to me.

I am almost out the door to go locate the building it in because I have never been there before, so if you happen to read this, send some mojo my way and wish me luck. I’ll write an update when I get home about how things went.

Of course I like ham…

I received an email late last night from someone who reads my weblog. They have never commented, but they tell me that they read it all the time and had a suggestion.

“every entry talks about updates to your site wyh don’t u try and talk about u sometimes and not just ur site i wanna hear about you!!!1”

Bad grammar and spelling aside, they are right. I talk about my site because it’s my biggest hobby, so that won’t change, but I haven’t written a Mitch update in a long time, so here goes.

I’ve been applying for a few jobs around Dubbo and Sydney, basically because I think the whole starving artist / struggling designer / living at home thing is getting a little old and it’s time for new things in my life. I’ve applied for one job in particular that looks really promising, so if you could spare a few thoughts for me and send some positive mojo my way, it would be really appreciated. In fact, all the mojo you can spare over the next few weeks would be good, it is time for a lot of changes in my life and it’s not going to come easily.

Cash is a little short lately and I really feel like a major drain on my family. That is another reason I’ve been looking for work, that and I’ve been having trouble getting hold of clients who will stay interested. I’ve considered starting a more formal front for my web design rather than just being a freelance designer, but unfortunately that sort of thing costs money and without a bit better setup it would be hard. I am going to speak to some business analysts on Monday to go through a few options before me, but in honesty I don’t expect much to come out of it.