Career Opportunities

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A weekly ComputorEdge Column and twice-weekly podcast by Douglas E. Welch
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Monday, January 31, 2005

Streamline your Windows startup : Lifehacker

Crossposted from My Word...

Many of you will already know about this trick, but it can sometimes be helpful to remind yourself of such hacks. I know my Windows machine coul duse a kick in the head.

LIfeHacker is a new blog from the Gizmodo folks.

Streamline your Windows startup : Lifehacker

Sunday, January 30, 2005

If there was ever a reason to quit your job...

Read the story below and then look below for my response. -- Douglas

From Creating Passionate Users...

"That's a true story. It happened to me, at Sun. While sitting in the hospital early on a Monday morning, waiting for my CAT scan (after a donkey kick to the head that sent me there unconscious the night before), I called in to explain why I wouldn't be showing up at the customer's site that day. I was told, "there's nobody in all of Sun's education division that can do this now, and we can't reschedule that customer's enterprise Java course for at least three months." Long Pause. "OK, I'll be there. But tell them I'll be late. Oh, and you better warn them I look like... well, I hope they aren't squeamish. (Continue reading here)"

Now, my response to the story...

The first thought that jumped to my mind when I finished this story was "either give me the better rating or I quit!"

It is your manager's job to justify all the silly bureaucracy and insulate you from it. I personally wouldn't care who got the "Exceeds" rating. Either give me what I am worth or say goodbye. Any manager who would do this is absolute idiot in my eyes. Instead of keeping employees that go the extra yard (hell, even mile in this case) for the customer, they chase out the best employees they have.

If you are ever faced with a similar situation, stand up, make your demands and walk out. No negotiation. No begging. No nothing. Go out immediately and find another job where they treat people like human beings and not numbers on the ledger. My first call would have been to the client, inquiring about an in-house position. Something tells me that they would probably value more than your current company.

Tech Nation with Moira Gunn

I want to recommend this latest Podcast from Tech Nation with Moira Gunn.

Barbara Kellerman talks about her book, Bad Leadership.

One of the most interesting items to me was her discussion of the converse side of the leadership relationship, that of "bad followers." Take a listen and check out her book.

From the web site...

First Interview: Barbara Kellerman

Research Director, Center for Public Leadership

Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Author, Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters

Friday, January 28, 2005


As I write, I am finishing the last few days
of a holiday vacation to my home state of Ohio and learning that returning
from a vacation can be just as stressful as preparing to leave for one.
Despite doing my best to complete any necessary tasks before I left, a
host of new challenges await my return. The same will probably be true
of your next vacation. If you want to ease your re-entry into the work-a-day
world after the holiday break, here are a few guidelines to keep you on
the right track.

this weeks column

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Art of the Small Deal...from the archives

America is often seen as the country of the
big deal. Everyone seems to be looking for the big score, the winning
lottery ticket or, in the case of the computer careerist, the one big
project that will make enough money that you won’t have to work
for the rest of the year. While you all probably know the fallacy of this
thinking, you can be caught up in the search for the big deal, to the
great detriment of your high-tech career. While you can and should continue
looking for the big deal, you need to fit it in and around the day-to-day
work that keeps you solvent.

this weeks column

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Friday, January 21, 2005

More than computers...from the archives

(This show, from the archives, appears
today as today's print edition of the column is using an article that
was bumped from an earlier issue.-- Douglas)

In your high-tech career it may seem that your
job is merely making computers work or helping others make their computers
work. In fact, your job can be much more. Your clients, especially the
smaller companies, could use a good source of business information, as
well as computer savvy. You could expand your career by becoming the source
for this information, especially at the point where business knowledge
and computer knowledge intersect.

Read this
weeks column

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Return to the fold...from the archives

If you are working as an independent high-tech
consultant, there may come a time when, due to financial pressures or
personal preference, you need to “return to the fold” of a
classic corporate job. While the reasons for your return might be varied,
there are a few ways to insure that your return is as painless and productive
as possible. In your time away, you have surely expanded your education
and experience. Both of these can be instrumental in easing your re-entry
back into the corporate world. What will hinder you is that nagging feeling
of having failed at going it alone.

this weeks column

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Friday, January 14, 2005


Just as a car can be “totaled”
after an accident, I am running into more and more computers that should
be “totaled”, as well. A piece of Spyware can have infected
someone’s machine so badly a complete rebuild is in order and the
cost of my time to do that is simply more than the computer is worth.
While I can understand this with older systems, running Windows 98 or
2000, I am starting to see this effect even on computers that are only
a few years old. Even in our current “disposable society”,
I still have major issues with telling my clients to “throw it away
and get a new one.” That said, I understand that the clients would
be better off spending their money on a new computer, rather than paying
for my time to fix their old one.

this weeks column

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Simplicity...from the archives

It is easier to buy a computer today than ever
before. For your average user, any computer system they buy will have
more power and more software than they will ever need. In fact, the biggest
problem most users will face is learning how to use all the power they
are given without getting hopelessly confused. This is where you and your
high-tech experience come into play. With thousands of people buying new
computers, or upgrading their existing systems, every day, they need your
expertise to help them from going astray.

this weeks column

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Start and Stop

It is a rare high-tech project that progresses
neatly from beginning to end. Most project schedules change dramatically
over the lifespan of the project. Along with this, many projects can go
on hiatus for days, weeks or even months at a time. You probably already
know that the ability to move from task to task is an important quality
in your high-tech career, but learning how to put a project “to
bed” and awaken it later can help you move up the career ladder.

this weeks column

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda

The Future
Business Leaders of America
web site is now linking to the Career
Opportunities Podcast
, as well as several others.

Welcome FBLA members!

If you have any questions or comments on the Podcat, or individual Career-Op
columns, please leave your comments here or drop me an email at:

Monday, January 03, 2005


Referrals are the life-blood of anyone working
in high-tech, whether a freelance consultant and coach, like myself, or
an IT staffer working inside a large corporation. Word of mouth is one
of the strongest methods for developing new clients or finding the next
job up the corporate ladder. As with most career issues, referrals can
be a double-edged sword. Friendships, family and business can suffer when
referrals become a contentious issue instead of simply one person, or
business, helping another.

this weeks column

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