Tag Archives: Career

News You Can Use: 10/18/2017

  • I Was a Skeptic, Now I am Convinced Unlimited PTO is Good Business

    Even if it’s just symbolic, unlimited paid time off (PTO) reinforces the fact that we hired you because you seem like the type of person who can handle a little freedom. If I say that I trust you, and then follow up that supposedly heartfelt declaration by shackling you to your desk, you can be certain of two things:
    1. I don’t trust you.
    2. You shouldn’t trust me, either.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/298410
    Unlimited PTO sounds lovely, but I can barely manage to take the time I have off. I think for many, by not having set days off employees will take even less days, and I think companies like Netflix knows that.

  • Podcast: Ariba: Talking Treasury with Jerry Bernard

    From investment decisions to monitoring regulations and managing currency fluctuations, the treasurer’s life is never boring. Join us in this conversation with SAP Ariba’s own treasurer, Jerry Bernard, to hear about a day in the life of a corporate treasurer and to get an idea of which issues he feels are most important in the field.

    https://www.ariba.com/resources/library/library-pages/makeprocurementawesome-with-sap-ariba-episode-6

  • Want to Boost Your Career and Income? Develop a Side Project or Hobby
  • Struggling With A Work Setback? Reflect On Your Childhood (Yes, Really)

    Reflecting on my childhood and young adulthood isn’t just daydreaming–the point isn’t to avoid my present challenges by indulging in escapist nostalgia. Instead, it’s to try and remember the sequence of experiences that led me to where I am now. I try to reach beyond the fear and constraints of the moment so I can reconnect with something deeper and more permanent.

    When I work with clients who are struggling with professional difficulties, I ask them to do the same–to remember what inspired them to move along the career path they chose, no matter how frustrating the circumstances that path has led them into right now: What was in their work that originally gave them the feelings of pleasure and fulfillment that they’ve built their career on? What was an early moment of discovery and delight that first got them excited?

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40477510/struggling-with-a-work-setback-reflect-on-your-childhood-yes-really

  • One Year After Its Fake-Accounts Scandal, Wells Fargo Isn’t ‘A Better Bank’

    Indeed, the scandal has only gotten worse since it first came to light. Since Stumpf’s appearance before Congress, the estimated number of accounts affected has been revised up to 3.5 million. Additionally, a separate scandal, involving auto loans the bank issued, affected some 500,000 customers, who had insurance policies taken out in their names that sometimes resulted in defaults and vehicle repossessions.

    While Sloan tried to focus on progress made in the past year—bringing up changes made to the bank’s organizational structure, review processes, plans for repaying customers, sales incentives, and corporate culture—the senators focused on how long it took Wells Fargo to open official inquiries into the claims of fake accounts, the predatory nature of the sales processes, and the compensation executives received. The committee members dwelled on the questions of how the bank’s practices could be improved and whether it should be allowed to continue operating in the first place.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/10/wells-fargo-fake-accounts-sloan/541875/

Photo: Patrick Hendry

Tagged , , ,

News You Can Use: 10/11/2017

  • Supply chain professionals disagree about value of increased data collection

    In IBM’s presentation on Watson and blockchain, the company said supply chains don’t have enough data and that they need more. But according to a presentation from JDA Software, everyone has plenty of data; what’s needed is the right tech for handling and understanding what it means.

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/supply-chain-professionals-disagree-about-value-of-increased-data-collectio/505954/

  • How To Tell Whether You Should Accept A Job Interview

    Truth talk: Taking an interview is a chance to have more options, and while options are great, they can also be overwhelming. The “paradox of choice” is a real thing, and opening up the possibilities could toughen an already challenging search process.

    If you’re someone who struggles with indecision–like if you’re already torn between other roles you’ve applied for–turning down the chance to dive deeper into something you aren’t even interested in can simplify things.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40470132/this-is-when-its-worth-interviewing-for-a-job-youre-not-sure-you-want

  • John Oliver on the Ways We All Get Screwed by Mergers and Acquisitions (NSFW!)

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300817
  • Study reveals IT security and risk management need work at all companies

    security and risk management practices dominate the list of the top five most-mature best practices. That’s good. However, what is not so good is the low percentage of IT organizations that have adopted these crucial security practices formally and consistently. Only about half or fewer of our respondents do so, which means the majority of organizations admit that their security and risk management practices are “informal” or “inconsistent.” In other words, there is a lot of room for improvement.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/09/28/study-reveals-security-risk-management-best-practices-need-work-companies/

  • U.S. Antitrust Law Is Not Broken

    So the focus on consumers is too narrow for ambitious progressives. “We’re trying to agitate a move away from a consumer welfare approach … towards an approach that looks at a variety of factors that I would argue represents a more reality-based understanding of how competition works,” Lina M. Khan, the author of an influential Yale Law Review article on the subject, told the New Republic’s Brian Beutler.

    As listed in the congressional Democrats’ new economics platform, those factors might include just about anything people don’t like: “whether mergers reduce wages, cut jobs, lower product quality, limit access to services, stifle innovation, or hinder the ability of small businesses and entrepreneurs to compete.” It continues: “In an increasingly data-driven society, merger standards must explicitly consider the ways in which control of consumer data can be used to stifle competition or jeopardize consumer privacy.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-29/u-s-antitrust-law-is-not-broken

Photo: Arnold Exconde

Tagged , , , ,

News You Can Use: 10/4/2017

  • Tech Firms Find Washington Isn’t So Hands-Off Anymore

    It was already a tough year for Silicon Valley in Washington, where lawmakers have been pushing proposals that could roil the industry, including measures on net neutrality, privacy and liability. The industry’s standing suffered again in the past week when lawmakers laid plans for public hearings to examine whether Facebook and other social-media platforms were used by foreign governments during the 2016 campaign to manipulate the U.S. election. Lawmakers also signaled they are considering new legislation to address online spending by foreign adversaries—a potential blow to the firms’ cherished freedom from close government oversight.

    “This is a Wild, Wild West,” said Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, about the possible need for more controls on internet companies.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/tech-firms-find-washington-isnt-so-hands-off-anymore-1505473201

  • How startups can avoid Bodega’s PR disaster

    The first article published about Bodega read almost like a Silicon Valley parody. It highlights a few things people feel is wrong with the tech community right now; Bodega comes across as a tone-deaf company that got the thumbs-up from some of the Valley’s most respected investors for a seemingly absurd idea with a culturally insensitive name. It represents a confounding and out-of-touch approach to disruption; if you missed the headline, it’s “Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete.”

    Just a few hours after launching, Bodega received a lashing on Twitter, and the headlines came to resemble this one from The Washington Post: “Bodega, an ‘unmanned pantry box,’ has already become America’s most hated start-up.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/15/how-startups-can-avoid-bodegas-pr-disaster/?ncid=rss

  • How to solve problems like a designer
  • Invited To Lunch With Your Boss’s Boss? Here’s Exactly What To Do

    Another smart move for lunch with a senior leader is to give an example of how the company is helping you grow. Don’t just share details about your job duties or favorite projects you’ve worked on, though. Discuss a highlight from a company “extra” that you felt was valuable, like a training program, an offsite event, etc.

    This can help you demonstrate that you appreciate what the company is doing to invest in your career, without taking a deep dive into the specifics of your role. Remember, your goal is to build a rapport, not deliver a scorecard. He probably doesn’t want that kind of detail, but he does want to know you. And above all, he wants to know that you want to know him. If you don’t give the impression that that’s the case, you’ll miss your chance at developing a potentially valuable mentor inside your organization.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40470150/invited-to-lunch-with-your-bosss-boss-heres-exactly-what-to-do

  • Is This Hotel an Airbnb Killer?

    A study last year from Morgan Stanley projected that 25% of leisure travelers and 23% of business travelers will have used Airbnb by the end of 2017, up from 12% for both groups of travelers in 2015. The report found Airbnb was a common substitute for hotels: 49% of Airbnb users said they had substituted Airbnb for a traditional hotel stay in the past year.

    With Public, Mr. Schrager said he aims to better compete with Airbnb on nightly rates and offer superior amenities such as bars and other places to socialize. While cutting staff costs for hotel operations, Mr. Schrager’s new concept fuses a sprawling bar and restaurant operation onto the property, deriving revenue and profits from amenities that are meant to attract a much larger crowd than just the hotel’s guests.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-this-hotel-an-airbnb-killer-1505473207

Photo: HB Mertz

Tagged , ,

News You Can Use: 9/27/2017

  • Some Companies Are Reinventing Job Interviews In Weird (And Possibly Illegal) Ways

    Two recent examples come from the New York Times’s Corner Office series with columnist Adam Bryant. In their conversation, Don Mal, CEO of software firm Vena Solutions, tells Bryant that he asks candidates if they’d ever leave their families at Disneyland “to do something that was really important for the company.” This, Mal says, helps him understand applicants’ work ethic. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini shares that she texts candidates over the weekend to see how fast they respond. (Nardini tells Bryant that the acceptable response time, in her view, is within three hours.)

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40460395/some-companies-are-reinventing-job-interviews-in-weird-and-possibly-illegal-ways

  • Former Google Employees Allege Bias Against Women

    One plaintiffs, Kelly Ellis, alleged that she was assigned to a lower level than her similarly qualified male counterparts when she was hired as a software engineer on the Google Photos team in 2010. In the complaint, Ms. Ellis claimed she was brought in at a level typically given to new college graduates, despite her four years of engineering experience. She asked for a promotion after learning that she had equal or better qualifications than male engineers in a higher level, and after receiving “excellent performance reviews.” She said she was denied. According to the complaint, Ms. Ellis resigned from Google around July 2014 due to “the sexist culture.”

    The claims from the other two plaintiffs, Holly Pease, who managed software engineers, and Kelli Wisuri, a salesperson, follow a similar pattern where they felt their initial positions did not match their qualifications, then found it hard to catch up to male employees and move up the ladder.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-google-employees-file-lawsuit-alleging-gender-discrimination-1505411804

  • Will AI Result in Mass Unemployment or a New Middle Class?
  • The Second-Class Office Workers

    The contractor model offers companies lower costs, more flexibility and fewer management headaches. Workers get far less from the arrangement.

    Outside workers usually aren’t surprised when they get no paid holidays, sick days, employee-sponsored health insurance, 401(k) plan or other perks routinely offered to traditional employees at the same companies.

    What wounds more deeply are things taken for granted or barely considered at all by regular employees, outside workers often say. The work lives of contractors frequently feel like a series of tiny slights that reinforce their second-class status and bruise their self-worth. Even when contracting jobs are easy to get, they can vanish instantly, and turning contract assignments into a real career remains out of reach.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-contractors-life-overlooked-ground-down-and-stuck-1505400087

  • Growing Up with Alexa (thanks JD!)

    It’s a little worrisome. Leaving aside the privacy implications of kids telling an Internet-connected computer all kinds of things, we don’t know much about how this kind of interaction with artificial intelligence and automation will affect how children behave and what they think about computers. Will they become lazy because it’s so easy to ask Alexa and its peers to do and buy things? Or jerks because many of these interactions compel you to order the technology around? (Or both?)

    Some of that may happen. It seems more likely, though, that as with many technologies before this, the utility of digital assistants will outweigh their drawbacks. Already they’re making an incredible amount of data and computer-aided capabilities available directly to children—even those not yet in kindergarten—for learning, playing, and communicating. With Alexa, kids can get answers to all kinds of questions (both serious and silly), hear stories, play games, control apps, and turn on the lights even if they can’t yet reach a wall switch. And this is just the beginning of the kiddie AI revolution.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608430/growing-up-with-alexa/
    From personal experience, once the novelty has warn off, kids don’t care about them. The article’s point about kids being frustrated because the digital assistant can’t hear them is spot on. Other than to turn on a light every once in a while, my son completely ignores Echos we have in the house.

Photo: Bench Accounting

Tagged , , , ,

News You Can Use: 9/20/2017

  • The Surprising Upsides To Getting Angry At Work

    So it’s no surprise that in measured doses, anger can prove a useful performance catalyst. Of course, this requires self-control and emotional intelligence. If you can tap into the driving and energizing force that anger provides, you may be able to produce better outcomes than you would trying to suppress those feelings. But the key is to feel a moderate amount of anger (or what psychologists call “arousal”–the mental stress or pressure that motivates people to act) that leads to higher performance than just being pumped with adrenaline on the one hand or being too bored, calm, and cool-headed on the other.

    Likewise, anger can help you become more aware of your values and motives, highlighting your inner compass and system of beliefs so you can realize how much you actually want something–and why. Conversely, the Zen-like ability to eliminate both anger and its sources will also extinguish any passion or desire to achieve. No wonder, then, that exceptional achievers–entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and even scientists–are often motivated by an intense sense of dissatisfaction, frustration at their past performance, and even anger. They’re rebels with a cause, always work hard to create change.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40464734/the-surprising-upsides-to-getting-angry-at-work

    Yeah… measured doses

  • Blockchain In The Supply Chain: Too Much Hype

    In summary, blockchain is an interesting technology. But it may be the least mature of all the technologies described in this report. On the other hand, because blockchain is a back-end technology, most companies don’t need to proactively invest in exploring its value.  We will know the technology is mature when people don’t even use the term “blockchain,” much as people don’t use the term TCP/IP when talking about their use of the Internet. If the technology does mature, the providers of Public Cloud supply chain solutions will be adversely impacted.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2017/09/01/blockchain-in-the-supply-chain-too-much-hype/#53715b4e198c

  • What moral decisions should driverless cars make?
  • Japan Is No Place for Single Mothers

    Women in Japan tend to struggle economically following divorce. That’s because traditionally in Japan, men work, and women stay home to take care of the children. About 62 percent of women drop out of the workforce when they have their first child, according to Kingston. When couples divorce, women have often been out of the workforce for a long time. Many institutions incentivize this arrangement: Japanese corporations often give husbands whose wives stay home a bonus, and the Japanese tax system punishes couples with two incomes. When women do try to return to the workforce, they usually can only find low-paying part-time work, if they find a job at all. And women who do work earn 30 percentless than men who do.  “In both the U.S. and Japan, you have a situation where women are forced to work, but if the economy doesn’t allow women to feed a family with 40 hours a week, you have a very difficult economic situation,” Ezawa said.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/09/japan-is-no-place-for-single-mothers/538743/?utm_source=feed

  • Stop Calling It ‘Coaching’ When All You’re Really Doing Is Scolding Your Team

    Unfortunately, when someone is “coached” they are typically being criticized. The overuse of criticism leads to a host of problems from escape and avoidance to the elimination of related, desirable behaviors. But what’s most damaging is get a dressing down for something that bothers someone but really isn’t that big a deal. If I get an earful (does it still count as an earful if the feedback is given via email?) about the content of my emails I am likely to say “okay fine, I won’t send any emails at all.” If I get blasted for using less-than-professional language on an internal message board, I am more likely to stop reading and posting altogether than I am to watch my word choice in the future.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/299804

Photo: Andre Hunter

Tagged , , , , ,