Career Opportunities

Helping to build the career you deserve!

A weekly ComputorEdge Column and twice-weekly podcast by Douglas E. Welch
Other WelchWrite Blogs: A Gardener's Notebook -- My Word with Douglas E. Welch -- TechnologyIQ -- Careers in Podcasting

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Friday, March 31, 2006

A nice Shoutout from Bill

Bill, over on MySpace, has some nice things to say about Career-Op. Shout-outs are always great to see, and let me know what I am doing right and wrong.

You can send your comments via the Comments link below, via email to or even as a voice message via Odeo.

"Another one of my favorite podcasts is Career Opportunities. This is show and website present very useful information to help you in your current job, or to help you find a new job. While the show is focused on careers in the technology field, a lot of these principles can be applied to careers in any field. "

A Death in the Family - March 31, 2006

Funerals have a way of sharpening your perspective on everything. The father of friend died unexpectedly this week. He had also become our friend over the years, helping us with legal and corporate issues in our small company. I also worked for him, providing computer assistance. As I talked with his wife after the services, she related how I would need to stop by soon to help her sort out all the information that was stored in their computers and help her put things in order. What's even more striking is, this is not the first time I have had this discussion with someone. [Continue Reading]

Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Freelancing Now - From the archives

I am a bit under the weather this week as I am fighting off my annual bout with bronchitis. Rather than subject you to my croaking voice, here is a show from the "early days" of podcasting in 2004. The audio quality is a bit rough, but the content is still as valid today as it was then.

Many new listeners have joined Career Opportunities since I first began creating the podcast, so I imagine that this show might be new to many of you.

Freelancing Now - from the archives

September 5, 2003

In the old days, a newly minted high-techworker had a clearly defined road to follow for their career.They would take an entry-level job at some large corporation, do all the menial labor they could stand and either get promoted or take whatever they learned to some other company. Repeat this as necessary, until the person found a niche where they could settle in for the long haul. In today’s workplace, though, I would like to offer an alternative. One that I think might better serve the high-tech careerist and the people for whom they work. Wouldn’t it be better to try out other avenues if employment and other career paths before locking yourself into something that may not serve you well? I have come to believe that starting everyone off in a typical corporate job may do more damage than good. [Continued]


Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Douglas Speaks at SongsAlive- Los Angeles - April 2, 2006

If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can hear me speak on podcasting at the local chapter of Songsllive. My presentation will be from 45 minutes to an hour. I plan on doing a lot of question and answer, so this might be the place to ask those burning podcasting questions you might have.

Admission for non-members is $5

From Songsalive web site...

Invented out of the already existing pieces of the Internet, MP3 audio files, web sites, weblogs and RSS feeds, Podcasting opens up a new way of communicating your music to the world. Easy, fast and cheap, you can be podcasting your words, music and commentary to your friends, your fans or the entire world in a few hours. Imagine your own radio station where you pick the playlist, you choose the message and you get to talk directly to those who are most interested in your work. Podcasting allows listeners to have what they want, when they want, where they want it, and you can use that freedom to your advantage.

Join Douglas E. Welch, computer consultant, author and podcaster (and a so-so guitar player), as he introduces you to the terms and tools of podcasting and shows you just how easy it can be to get started.

Los Angeles Workshop: Sun. April 2, 10am - 2pm at Mazzarino's - "Podcasting: Your Own Private/Public Radio Station"

Mazzarino's Italian Restaurant is located at 12920 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA - (818) 788-5050 [Map]

Coming Soon: Podcast Q&A sessions at the Brewery Artwalk, April 22 & 23, Downtown - Check back for more information

Sunday, March 26, 2006

New blog network launches to offer the very best career and jobhunting advice on the web.

Note: Career Opportunities is a member of -- Douglas

25 March 2006 - wurk, a unique network of career and job focused blogs is making it easier than ever to find the very best career and jobhunting advice on the web.

wurk is a fresh new idea that overcomes a clear lack of high quality, up-to-date, reliable and easily-accessible industry-specific career advice available online, and adds essential news, information and opinion about working life to the mix.

"Each core wurk blog covers a specific industry sector, and provides an insider's point of view on how to break into that industry and how to develop your existing career within that industry, together with tips, tricks and suggestions on how to make the most of everyday working life" says wurk's founder, Barry Bell.

The wurk network uses the popular blog - or weblog - format to enable its experienced team of Content Editors to provide an easy-to-digest and regularly updated stream of useful, interesting, and entertaining articles, links, news, views, opinions, interviews, and more.

"Each of the wurk writers are either experts in their industry with years of experience, or are currently trying to break into their particular industry – which means they’re the ideal people to ask if you want advice or other work or career related information."

The wurk network also includes a hand-picked selection of some of the web's leading independent career advice and career coaching blogs, which cover virtually every related subject from resume & CV writing to advice on jobhunting.

As an online destination, it's perfect for school or college research into jobs and careers, for people wanting to break into a specific industry, or simply as an information source that can help anyone stay up to date with working life.

Barry Bell
+44 (0) 77 99 77 49 77

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Share Career-Op with your friends and co-workers!

George Starcher, over at In The Trenches had a great idea to help spread the word about his podcast. He created a flyer, in PDF format, that listeners can download, print and share with their friends and co-workers.

It was such a good idea, that I have created my own flyer to do the same. The PDF linked below is formatted to print 4 postcard size flyers on a 81/2" x 11" piece of paper.

If you enjoy Career Opportunities, please share it with those around you. These flyers should make that a little bit easier. Thanks for helping to spread the word about Career Opportunities.

Link: Career Opportunities Postcards

Friday, March 24, 2006

You want to do what? - March 24, 2006

Would you get an RFID chip implanted in your arm so you could access the company data center? Would you take a test that asks deeply personal questions with no perception of anonymity? Would you take a lie detector test? How about a drug test? If any of these scenarios sound frightening to you, you should start thinking about your response now, because everyone will be facing these decisions sooner than we might like. Is any job worth sacrificing your privacy? [Continue Reading]

Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Brave Email Experiment

So what do you think? Could this email experiment really get people talking to one another, or would people simply rebel? What would happen if you started talking face-to-face, or at least talking on the phone instead of replying by email.

I love the convenience of email, so I am no email Luddite, but it is an interesting idea. It sounds interesting enough to me to give it a try in my own day-to-day work, just to see what happens.

Let me know what you think and if you implement it in your life.

A Brave Email Experiment

Imagine what could happen in your company, if your President, CEO, or otherwise-titled Top Dog, conducted this experiment for as little as a week’s time;
The Email Experiment
Please use email only when absolutely necessary, to respond to those who initiate conversations with you via email.
However, those who initiate those email conversations with you should only [...]


Related: Previous mentions of email in Career-Op
Link: Books on using email

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Those around you - from the archives

In the past I have written about the need to keep certain information, like your drinking habits and emotional problems, to yourself. There was no need to fill in the entire office on your lack of a love life or angry breakup, but there is some information that you can, and should, share with your co-workers, and they with you. [Continue Reading]

Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Send me a voice mail!

Ever wanted to comment on a Career Opportunities column quickly and easily?

Click this button and record your voice mail directly from a web page. Press Send and it shows up in my email.

Let me know what's on your mind. Give it a try!

Send Me A Message

Friday, March 17, 2006

Believing impossible things - March 17, 2006

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." -- Alice in Wonderland.

The truth is, as Lewis Carol seemed to know, we often need to believe a great many impossible things every day of our life. Doctors once thought that disease was caused by "bad air" or lack of morality - astronomers thought the Earth was the center of the universe and scientists thought heavier objects fell faster than lighter ones. Knowledge is never static, but always in a state of becoming. Once you understand that, you can begin to explore what "impossible things" you need to be believing today. [Continue Reading]

Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Resume Lies and the Liars Who Write Them

The Susie and Barb over at Pop Goes The Culture podcast have a great show on the spate of resume fabrications that hit recently. Why do people lie on their resumes when it is relatively easy to confirm the information -- and why don't more people check resume information when hiring people, even when it is relatively easy?

Check out all their podcasts on popular culture. They are well worth the listen.

Resume Lies and the Liars Who Write Them

Resume Lies and the Liars Who Write Them

With the Radio Shack CEO in the news for lying on his resume, Susie and Barb think the time is right to address this baffling topic. Why don't companies do background checks? The office grapevine has no problem discovering the indiscretions of a new hire, so what is wrong with Human Resources making a few phone calls? Many famous examples are discussed, with FEMA's Michael Brown at the top of the list.

(Via Pop Goes the Culture!.)

Related: Career-Op column on Resumes
Related: Previous posts on resumes
Link: Books on Writing Resumes

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55 most frequently asked interview questions

This is a great article, from Dan Johnston from PPR Career, listing 55 of the most frequently asked interview questions, what information the interviewer is trying to discover and how to frame a response. While it certainly won't cover all situations, it would be a great way to prepare for every interview you might have. A good resource for any job-seeker.

55 most frequently asked interview questions

posted by gkrall to career


Related: Previous posts on interviewing

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Interview with Denise Welch of Computerworks, Inc.

This is the third in our on-going interview series, talking with high-tech workers of all types.

Today's guest is Denise Welch, Owner and Operator of Computerworks, Inc. in California's Coachella Valley. The valley is made up of the cities of Palm Springs, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and others.

Computerworks provides on-site and online training and troubleshooting for home users, small office/home office and mid-level corporations based in the valley.

We talk about the special needs of retiree computer users, the most important traits of a freelance consultant and the importance of trust in your business and personal relationships.

Denise is also my sister and, as I mention in the interview, I take all the credit and blame for introducing her to the concept of a career in high-tech. (SMILE)

Link: Listen to Interview #2 with Kevin Devin
Link: Listen to Interview #1 with David Jefferson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Co-hosting In The Trenches

I co-hosted this week on In The Trenches with George Starcher, who was handling the hosting duties for Kevin Devin, who is off on "sabbatical".

From the In The Trenches show notes...

We go over various tech, IT Vendor and career thoughts. George is on his way out of bachelorhood. Toss in a cool interview with Chuck Herrin from Chuck was recently promoted to a Director position at a Fortune 10 company. Chuck is founding president of his ISSA local chapter and wrote a demonstration on hacking electronic voting systems.

Check out the entire show!

Related: Previous mentions of In The Trenches
Link: In The Trenches podcast

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The best presentation...

The best presentation...

...So, here's what I'd like you to consider:

Skip straight to the part that people seem to like the best, and that you're the best at: the Q&A.

Step 1: get a confederate (a helper, not someone from Atlanta) to sit in the audience ready with the first obviously seeded question.

Step 2: Walk onstage. No laptop.

Step 3: "Any questions?"

Step 4: The seeded question is something like: "So, Seth, what have you been up to?..." [Continued]

(Via Seth's Blog.)

Yes, yes, I can't say it more clearly, YES!

This is this best advice I have heard in months and something that I was already doing.

I have been doing free computer classes at my library for years and this is basically how I started each and every one. "Any questions? What can I do for you?" and we are off for an hour and a half until the librarians have to practically physically eject us from the building.

A question and answer session is so much more useful and productive than a typical presentation because it actually answers the questions that people have. What could be more productive than that?

Related: Previous posts mentioning Seth Godin
Link: Books by Seth Godin

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Future-proofing your projects - March 10, 2006

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) recently launched their latest space probe, New Horizons, which will be the first such probe to visit and study the planet Pluto. While you probably don’t need to worry about ensuring your latest network server is still operating 10 years from now and a couple billion miles away, taking a long-term approach to your projects, like JPL, can help to insure their success. I call this future-proofing. [Continue Reading]

Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Book Review: Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

Book Review: Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni
Published by Jossey-Bass An Imprint of Wiley Books, 2004

Listen to the audio podcast version of this review

Fables have been used for centuries to teach important lessons and, even today, the form has significant advantages. With his series of books, Patrick Lencioni has taken the form from its earliest beginnings into the corporate office of today. His recent book, Death by Meeting, which I only recently discovered, takes on the bane of nearly every worker - the departmental meeting.

It is a rare person who hasn't spent hours in unproductive and unnecessary meetings. Through his storytelling, Lencioni demonstrates a way out of the meeting morass and back to productivity.

Like all fables, Death by Meeting is a simplified and idealized view of the business world. Readers will see much of their own experience in the fable, but also a healthy dose of oversimplification. Change, especially corporate change, is rarely as smooth as depicted in the book. In any case, though, storytelling is an effective way of quickly and clearly make a point and educate the reader.

I found myself quickly moving through the book, completing it in only one day, but by the end I not only had a clear picture of Lencioni's ideas, but also a collection of concrete methods of how they might be applied. As with his other books, I found little need for the "Executive Summary" at the end of the book, which explains the book concepts in a more traditional manner. The fable itself was more illustrative and entertaining than this, rather dry, summary.

Like all good books, Death by Meeting engages your mind and generates many questions. Is there a better way to run meetings? Are we stuck with our unproductive, and possibly even destructive, meetings? The book offers hope and a starting point many companies would be wise to absorb and apply.

Patrick Lencioni's other books include The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The Five Temptations of the CEO and The Four Obsessions of the Extraordinary Executive. I found each one of them useful and enlightening – something not always found in other business books.

Related: Mini-review of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Now is the time - from the archives - November 11, 2001

Chances are that you know at least one other high-tech worker who is currently unemployed. When you finish reading this column, I want you to call them up or send them an email, invite them to dinner and ask them to pitch you the top 5 projects they always wanted to work on. Maybe it's the next great information site, a new computer game, a new service for doctors and nurses. Next, you should pitch them your top 5 projects. Try and find a way to work together to take something you both believe in - and make it real. Now is the time! [Continue Reading]

Link: Join the Career-Op Mailing List
Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Monday, March 06, 2006

The Art of Innovation Online Video

Here is a recent speech given by Guy Kawasaki, based on his book, The Art of the Start. I enjoyed the book a lot and think many of you could benefit from hearing what he has to say. Guy is mainly talking about entrepreneurs and pitching new ideas, but I think high-tech workers do that each and every day. Why not benefit from some of the insight that can be gained from the venture capital world?

The Art of Innovation Online Video

Click here to see an online version of my speech, The Art of the Innovation. I made this speech on January 24th, 2006 at the Tech Coast Angels "Fast Pitch Competition" at UCLA. It is based on The Art of the Start.

Click on this if you want the PowerPoint presentation I used.

Hope you enjoy it!

(Via “Let the Good Times Roll” by Guy Kawasaki.)

Related: Previous mentions of The Art of the Start
Book: The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Would you recommend a friend? - March 3, 2006

If you want a good litmus test of how much you like your current job or your current company, ask yourself this question, "Would you recommend that a friend work at your company?" If you are like many high-tech workers today, you probably found yourself saying "Uh..." This simple question can elicit a strong response if you take the time to ask it of yourself. Would you? If not, why not? If you wouldn't recommend a friend work at your company, why are you working there? Hmm. As with all good questions, this one spurs even more questions and a deeper evaluation of the current state of your career. [Continue Reading]

Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Whatever comes your way - from the archives

All work is cyclical. There are the slow times and the fast times. Some weeks you can’t seem to catch up and on others, work is so slow that you think the week may never end. This cycle of feast and famine is especially true for freelance consultants like myself. The busy weeks can overwhelm you and the slow weeks can leave you worried about paying your bills. While work may come and go, dealing with your slow time can have a dramatic effect on your high-tech career. [Continue Reading]

Link: Discuss this column and podcast in the Friends in Tech Forums!

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