Professional

performance

It’s Time To Prepare For Your Annual Performance Appraisal… (yes it is!)

If you’re like me, then you’ll be looking forward to a relaxing holiday season. Not longer after we return to work, we’ll be facing our annual performance appraisal! So not to be caught in the headlights, now is a great time to easily prepare for our appraisal.

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Which Are The Fastest Growing Careers (and How Do You Join Them?)

Guess what? The information technology (IT) and health care industries offer the fastest growing careers. And they’re clamoring for more skilled workers. How can you become one of them? Everyone dreams of a career with a handsome salary, one promising boundless growth and loads of opportunities. But these careers belong to a privileged few, and

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To Totally Rock Your Performance at Work, Your Self-Esteem is Key

The Key Influencing Factor in your performance at work is not your skills, your status, your experience. It isn’t even who you know, or who knows you. All these things are important, but there is something fundamental that is required to make all these things attain value. It is your Self-Esteem.

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onething

Success Is… Mastering ONE Thing

The route to success is often a tough one that involves hard work and sacrifice. I’ve proposed two general paths to wealth (a form of success) – guru, or entrepreneur. Both routes, as does all form of success, are built on mastering something. Mediocrity does not have a home here. What does ‘Mastering’ mean? Simple

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Why You Need a Technical Swipe File, and How To Get One

Just yesterday, I was totally impressed by a guy I met at a technology conference who has an amazing technique for organizing his projects and interests in technology. So much so that when I revise my book ‘The 10 Habits of Highly Effective IT Professionals’ (if you haven’t got your copy yet, then download it

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Are Career Goals A Waste Of Time?

Two years ago, this question may have seemed ridiculous to you. In a growing economy, opportunity is in abundance and the challenge we had back then didn’t concern make-or-break, but which of the golden opportunities were the shiniest. Now the whole economic environment has changed. The economy is turbulent and unpredictable. So is it worth

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Canned Project? 3 Big Reasons Why Your Project Has Been Cancelled

If the project you were busy working on has just been shelved then you might be feeling puzzled, frustrated or even angry. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem logical or even fair. It’s likely that your project has suffered the consequences of one of these 3 reasons: The excess of boom-times causes business leaders, in recession, to

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How To Find Work in Your Dream Organization Using Facebook And LinkedIn

By combining your LinkedIn profile with Facebook ads, you’ll discover an effective way of getting yourself in front of potential employers who use Facebook (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) It’s a guerrilla job-hunting tactic that enables you to search the hidden job market and find or even create the best jobs before they hit

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Lessons From The Field: How To Be a Rock Star with Your Sales Team

In your experience, how does IT actually help Sales? Is it continuous delivery of operational systems so Sales don’t get it in the neck from their clients? Is it providing technical knowledge to clients during the initial engagement, beauty parade and decision-making process? Is it just listening? Of course the first two are true. But

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Why Isn’t ‘Staying Employed’ in the Top Ten List of CIO Issues?

InformationWeek just announced the ‘Top Ten CIO Issues for 2009 ‘ and I was wondering why ‘Staying Employed’ didn’t feature on the list! If you believed everything you read in the newspapers or watched on TV, then we’ll all be out of work in 3 months. The economy will grind to a halt, so we’ll

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fair raise

How To Ask For a Fair Raise or Pay Increase During a Recession

Asking for a raise during a recession can give good reason for your boss to think you’re totally out of touch with what’s happening in the global economy, or maybe they’ll think you’re just insensitive to business issues. It’s a risky thing to do. What if you’re struggling to make ends meet yourself; perhaps you

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Special Report: Why ‘Green’ and Other Niche Causes are Great Career Builders

I’ve just released a Special Report on the subject of Why ‘Green’ and Other Niche Causes are Great Career Builders . If you’re an avid reader of this website you’ll know that I’ve discussed the opportunities that supporting niche causes, and being seen to do so, is a powerful means of raising your profile and

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Are Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn Good For Your Reputation?

Social Networking has become the main game in town for upwardly mobile professionals. It’s standard to find most of your colleagues on LinkedIn, Facebook or Myspace and involve yourself in a social community – groups and activities you share an interest in. Let’s face it, they save you so much time and energy in tracking

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Ten Web-Based Project Management Tools

Most organizations use Microsoft Project as a project management tool. Microsoft have enjoyed many years of domination of the corporate project management tool market. Competitors like Clarity have challenged Microsoft, but MS Project remains dominant. And with recent enhancements its users can web-enable it on their intranet. Then add on Microsoft SharePoint and you have

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Projects Are About People, Not Technology (According To Elizabeth Harrin)

In a recent post on her blog, Elizabeth Harrin shares with us some research from Forrester which (in her words) reminds us that projects are about people, not technology. Elizabeth Harrin is a blogger (a girl’s guide to project management) who won the ComputerWeekly 2008 IT Blog Awards in the Project Management category. Her post

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Credit Crunch: Two Great Tips On Preparing For The Elbow

No amount of preparation is too much preparation if your short-term employment prospects look bleak – there’s a big buzz on the ‘doom ahead’ in the blogosphere and here is a link to a post on Mark McClure’s website markmccluretoday.com I thought I’d share. This post can be used as a sort of ‘blog carnival’ for

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Five FREE Ways to Stand Out From Other IT Salespeople

IT Sales is a tough job. IT buyers don’t suffer fools gladly, and they aren’t tricked by the usual methods employed by door-to-door vacuum cleaner salespeople. IT Sales has developed into an artform, so it’s vital you stand out from your bustling crowd. Here are five FREE ways to do this: Call your prospects at

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Don’t Underestimate the Dicey Art of Escalation!

A general dictionary defines escalation in many ways like, "Increase in intensity, magnitude, bypassing the immediate person, and so on." Applied to workplaces escalation is usually a formal process in many IT and non-IT projects. For example, if certain employees are unable or unwilling to do a certain activity they are accountable for, then it

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Review: Google’s Chrome To Disrupt the Browser Market, But Will It Disrupt the Enterprise Desktop?

In Google’s usual style, there was a bit of a fanfare yesterday (September 2 2008) for the launch of their new ‘killer’ browser, Chrome. Google’s brand and penetration will make it an overnight success and I am confident that it will displace Internet Explorer (further) and Firefox (less so) in the consumer PC market. But

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bad boss

Brilliant Basics: When Good People Become Bad Bosses

As soon as the word bad boss is mentioned most people start imagining pictures of a wicked person, a crook, a tyrant, a scheming backstabbing individual, a selfish ogre, etc. And typical textbook definitions of a bad boss is one who screams, threatens, intimidates, grabs credit, fires people, throttles people’s necks and so on. While

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Money Isn’t Everything, According to IT Professionals (who responded)

I’ve just read an excellent article, written by Ann All, on the IT Business Edge website that discusses the working environment that IT professionals prefer to work in. What I like about it is Ann’s honest view about the conclusion that IT people like to work in a positive, challenging environment. I’m pleased that IT people

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5 Reasons Why Lightworkers (in IT) are like Luke Skywalker

I’ve often written about Lightworkers and Darkworkers. There are similarities between the boy-hero and Lightworkers I thought might be fun. He trusted his instinct and acted upon it:Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope switched off his targetting computer and trusts his instinct when firing that bomb thing into the Death Star. What a guy. Lightworkers

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12 Behaviors Most Disliked by IT Professionals

Opinion isn’t one-sided! In response to my recent article on the 11 behaviors most disliked by IT leaders, here are the 12 behaviors most disliked by IT workers of their managers/leaders. This list was created from surveying some of the IT professionals I know and connect with from a number of countries and industries (56

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Update: How To Find a Much Better IT Job, Even in Recession

Following my recent article, I’ve found an excellent article on the HBS Working Knowledge website which discusses the tendencies of women who are finding it easier to move jobs and maintain their star profile. This article shares the results of research that shows that females are generally more apt at switching jobs and preserving their ‘shine’, when

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How to Avoid Wasting Time When Selling Technology

This is my first article aimed at IT Sales. Selling technology is not easy, particularly in this Web2.0-fuelled, open-source aware, web-enabled environment. There is always a competitive product, and sometimes the competition might be available for free. Sales calls are a wonderful bevy of pleasantries and good intentions. Sales, though, are not won or lost

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Is Virtualization a Buyer’s Market? Why it is a Real Opportunity for IT

The last six weeks have been an interesting time in the world of virtualization. In late June Microsoft released their final version of Hyper-V, their new virtualization platform built into Windows Server 2008. Hyper-V has been widely anticipated, as Microsoft’s absence from the enterprise virtual market has left VMWare and some smaller players free to

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Why I Prefer to Work with Darkworkers than ‘Greyworkers’

Lightworkers and Darkworkers are rare(ish) people who are polarized around a deeply ingrained intent. Lightworkers live and breathe to service humankind, whilst Darkworkers live and breathe to serve only themselves. The remainder of people on this earth could be described as Greyworkers, who tend not to know who they serve. I’ve written about Lightworkers and

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Industrialization of IT Will Create a Blue-Collar Sub-Class of IT Workers

The Industrialization of IT is one of my current favorite topics as I think we are at a turning point of the whole industry. But one of the biggest implications of this change is that it will reshape the workforce towards blue-collar working. Industrialization of the IT department and the services it provides is a

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Can You Afford the Cloud?

Cloud Computing, where the architecture of your technology estate is based upon the integration of third-party technologies and services, is gaining momentum in the industry. It’s a natural extension of outsourcing where an organization uses technology within it’s own physical boundary (i.e. its data-center) but the technology is owned and operated by the vendor. The

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URGENT: Now Is The Time To Move Jobs If You Think You Are S**t Hot!

We’re in recession – it’s a golden opportunity! If you are master in your craft industry then don’t wait for the recession to end, now is the time to move. This advice might seem counter-intuitive because in hard times it’s natural to want to feel secure in your organization, and certainly take advantage of any severance

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How IT Leaders Can Get The Most Out Of Developers

I am not going to take credit for all of this post… I was inspired by Esther Schindler ‘s article on CIO.COM titled ‘Managing and Motivating Developers: Tips for Management Cluefulness .’ The subject is close to my heart as over the last 8 years I’ve been doing exactly that. I’d also say that Esther’s

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Don’t try and be Clever, Stupid: Using language for the layman

Do you sometimes get blank stares when discussing IT matters with the business? Or maybe you get push-back on changes you want made, but the push-back is non-specific or seems irrational? Well maybe the reason is because you’ve lost your audience in your use of language. I come across situations very frequently where this is the

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What’s this Software as a Service (SaaS) all about? A layman’s view and implications for Technical Professionals

Many of you might know about Software as a Service (SaaS). It is a growing industry within IT, and based around (what might be to some) a simple concept. That is, software isn’t owned, but rented; not installed, but accessed; it’s not paid for upfront, but pay-as-you-go. You could liken it to watching TV rather

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Grip of recession (?)

The media continues to report that we’re in the grip of a recession. Whilst this maybe true, I haven’t yet seen a cascade of severance and canceled projects; but that may still come. A little while ago I offered 5 recession beating tips for Technical Professionals which discussed some proactive measures to reduce your personal

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Brilliant Basics: Converting ideas and opportunities in technology to business value

Nobody has the monopoly on good ideas. You may find yourself in a situation where you have a good idea that can revolutionize your organization, if only ‘management’ could see it. You’re bursting at the seams to speak to someone who can sponsor the idea and make it happen. For the bright technical professionals who

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Brilliant Basics: Getting the Most from Email Communication in Business

The Internet has brought unprecedented access to information, and to each other. Using email, we are now able to contact friends, family and colleagues worldwide at the same time and from the same place, at low cost and effort. The trouble is, (for the same reasons) other people can contact us, often unsolicited. Spam is

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Are there Lightworkers in your department?

This is a continuation of the topic of Lightworkers and Darkworkers currently buzzing around on a few blogs; I wrote about Darkworkers here. Lightworkers, as defined by Steve Pavlina here, believe their primary role is to serve the greater good of humanity, and act in general terms selflessly. This doesn’t mean Lightworkers will starve to

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Are there Darkworkers in your department?

The concept of Darkworkers and Lightworkers is buzzing on a couple of blogs I favor at the moment. In essence, Darkworkers align themselves to the needs of themselves, i.e. they are selfish individuals who live only for personal gain. On the flipside, Lightworkers align themselves to the needs of humanity. It’s important at this time

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NFRs: The mysterious requirements of a business

Non-Functional Requirements (NFRs) are often the ‘unsaid’ requirements of a new product or system. NFRs should describe an important business context. Organizations who express new requirements of an IT system or a product tend to be much better at describing how something should work rather than the conditions in which it should work. For IT departments,

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How to Tune Into Language as a Technical Leader

Technical professions require precision in language. We can’t express computer program code in slang, as much as we can’t express an insurance illustration without being exact. So in our profession, you’d expect all articulation and use of language to be unambiguous and precise, wouldn’t you? Well research has shown that technical professionals can still lack

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Perfectionism vs Pragmastism: Career Implications

This is a debate I often see in technical circles, mostly between technicians and their less technical managers or stakeholders. It’s a debate that often leads to conflict or a reduction in morale or motivation in each party. It has career implications too; as technical leaders aiming to build a career, its something we need

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