Career Opportunities

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A weekly ComputorEdge Column and twice-weekly podcast by Douglas E. Welch
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Friday, February 25, 2005

Put the Crisis Junkie in Rehab

I have run into people like this in my career travels. No matter how much you might try to bring them back to the task at hand, the crisis will always win out.

While it is important to have people who are good in a crisis, it is just as important to get back to normal work as soon as possible.

Put the Crisis Junkie in Rehab: "Put the Crisis Junkie in Rehab
Some employees are addicted to the high of coping with emergencies, which leads them to neglect crucial day-to-day tasks "

Follow-through - February 25, 2005

Technology can help businesses and individuals accomplish great things, but sometimes we set ourselves and others up for failure before we even finish a technology project. While automating portions of a process can be helpful, if you don’t automate the entire process, from end to end, you might find your project doesn’t solve as many problems as it creates. If you are starting a new project, or involved in one currently, be sure to consider how the un-automated sections of a process might have some unintended consequences for the whole project.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

All in the Family - from the archives

Imagine this scenario…one day, out of the blue, your brother or sister comes to you with a new business idea. This might be some hot, high-tech, Internet new economy startup or opening a new retail establishment at the local mall. Regardless of the type of business, there are a few issues that are very important when you contemplate going into business with a family member. This week I will offer a few ways to insure that your new partnership doesn't put undo strain on your family and vice versa.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

Tools for recording your ideas

A few weeks ago I wrote a column (Notation and Recall, February 11, 2005) on how important it is to record your notes and ideas so you can recall the information in the future. Innovation Tools has a nice article on the various methods you can use to get your information down on paper.

Tools for recording your ideas - from...
Tools for recording your ideas - from

Friday, February 18, 2005

Quick tips on processing your email inbox

Merlin Mann over at 43 Folders has another great post on managing your email inbox.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Experience - February 18, 2005

If you read anything by business guru Tom Peters ( you will hear the term Professional Service Firm (PSF) over and over again. This is what you and I do each and every day. Regardless of whether you are working inside a large corporation or as a freelancer like myself, you are your own PSF. At least, this is what Peters would like you (and I) to believe. I think he is correct and I have said much the same in previous columns.

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Church of the Customer: Top selling business books of 2004

Church of the Customer points to 800-CEO-READ's list of books for 2004. I have read some of them, but this list will give me a good reading list for the next couple of weeks.

Remember, for me, if I can take one good idea away from a business book, I consider it worth the read (or browse). Take what you can, ignore the rest and move onto the next.

Church of the Customer: Top selling business books of 2004

Notation and Recall - Feburary 11, 2005

There are many "secrets" to a successful high-tech career, but most of them are simple procedures, habits, hints or, more likely, common sense ways of working more effectively. Over the years of my high-tech career (now 20 years and counting) I have found one particular "secret" to be invaluable. The need to remember information and recall it at will goes far beyond the usual recalling of addresses, phone numbers and directions. You need to be able to recall everything from simple procedures to complex processes for thousands of different computers, routers, PDA's, printers and more. The real secret, though, is not how to store this all in your head, but how to develop systems that allow you to find the information each time you need it.

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"Hire" the right clients (Signal vs. Noise)

I have read, and written, many of the same sentiments discussed here. Working with the right clients makes your work a joy. Working with the worst clients makes your life hell. You need to think of gaining new clients in the same way you think about hiring new employees.

A great collection of user comments accompanies the article.

"Hire" the right clients (Signal vs. Noise)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Up and Out - from the archives - January 23, 2004

As your high-tech career matures, you will have less and less desire to climb under desks, pull cable through ceilings and experience the mind-numbing stupor of watching software install. As the years pass, you will want to find new ways of using your knowledge and experience, while still maintaining a quality of life and career. While it might not be easy, here are few thoughts that can guide your journey from technology installer to technology manager.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Column: 24/7 with MP3 Audio Podcast

As any high-tech freelancer will tell you, one of the major problems of working for yourself is knowing when not to work. Unlike the traditional office hours of corporate work, freelance work can happen nearly anywhere at any time. I could just as easily write this column at 2 in the morning as 2 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, this freedom can lead to the feeling that you are never "at work" or "at home", but always at an odd combination of both. If you aren't careful, you could end up working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or, at least, you might come to feel that is that case.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Column: Tempus Fugit - from the archives - November 29, 2002

No matter how good your high-tech work or how complete your technology procedures, time erodes all good practices. Just like water on stone, the effects of time may work slowly, but they can effect your technology projects in small, yet destructive, ways. No matter how much work you put into establishing your "best practices", without constant attention, they can fall into disrepair quickly and completely -- possibly damaging your high-tech career as well.

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IT Conversations: Scott Ambler - Are You Agile or Are You Fragile?

While the focus of this recorded talk is Agile Project Management, speaker Scott Ambler has some good thoughts about high-tech careers in general. About 30 minutes in, he discusses the concept of the Generalist/Specialist worker -- someone who has a speciality, but also has a working knowledge of other related areas. This is something that I have talked about in the past. In fact, I have linked below to columns where I have mentioned the need for being a generalist using Google SiteSearch.

Additionally, you will learn a little about Agile Project Management, Extreme Programming and more.

IT Conversations: Scott Ambler - Are You Agile or Are You Fragile?

Search for past Career-Op columns mentioning generalists

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

3 Business Week stories on employee retention

I came across 3 stories on Business Week Online today dealing with employee retention and just posted them to the Career-Op page.

While you might not be in the position to worry about such things (or maybe you are) it can be very enlightening to read what is happening on the opposite side of your career. What are your employers offering you in order to keep you from jumping ship? Anything? Let me know!

The 3 stories are:

It's time to plug talent leaks

The right bait for keeping staff

Retention tips from the trenches

Writing your way to a great career?

I have to agree with Tom Peters on this one. Good writing has served my career well over the years and can do the same for you. This is a small quote from a larger post. Visit to read the entire posting. -- Douglas

Good writing matters!

(It can move mountains.)

(Odds are, neither you nor I will challenge Graham Swift, but we can damn well be much, much better than we are ...which matters.)

So: Work your ass off on your writing, from emails to Blog Posts to Letters to your Mum. [Dispatches from the New World of Work]


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