Making Virtual Work a Success for Employer and Employee

Better CollaborationThe next Better Collaboration video conferencing event on strategies for driving virtual workers’ productivity is coming up! The information that will be presented is geared towards organization leaders who’re interested in learning about the best tools and practices for virtual work arrangements. This event will take place on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern Standard Time/11:00am-12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. To register, please visit the Better Collaboration Meetup site. Details regarding this event follow: Continue reading

Portraying Yourself Professionally Through Social Media [Infographic]

For those who’re purposefully looking to maintain a professional image via social media, here’s an infographic that has been going around. Much of this information is based on common sense. However, the percentages reflecting employers’ or recruiter’s emphasis on some social media sites more than others for information about you may be particularly helpful to keep in mind. Hence, you can make an informed decision about where to expend your efforts. Alternatively, for those of you interested in protecting your privacy, some general but important tips appear towards the bottom of this graphic.

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Ideal Traits of Global, Cross-Cultural Virtual Team Members

Information about selecting virtual team members with focus on the need to function globally and cross-culturally is scarce. As luck would have it, I came across some recommendations derived from Dr. Joel Paul Ginsburg’s work – available in dissertation form here. The following is a representation Global Symfony’s recommendations which I’ve modified for simplicity (see their website for details): Continue reading

This INTJ’s Take on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Typealyzer

My Typealyzer result: NT for “Rationals” and INTJ specifically.

Having written on the subject of surveillance, I’ve been exploring how much insight others can possibly acquire about you just based on your writing. From here, it didn’t take long to discover various text analyzers developed through uClassify.com (most of which seem crudely put together), but I’m pretty sure more sophisticated, and less readily accessible, text analyzers exist elsewhere. Of those that are available to the public, Typealyzer (which gives you a Myers Briggs type based on your writing) has been most frequently discussed by bloggers. Did the Typealyzer accurately classify me? Although there are infrequent variations on individual posts, for the most part, it has classified me as INTJ and this is consistent with how I score on self-reported assessments across time and situations as well as others’ evaluation of me.

Yes, much uproar has been made about MBTI’s reliability (or rather lack thereof) in recent years. In this post, I will delve deeper into problems encountered in the use of the MBTI. After some thought, I believe I can reconcile claims of unreliability with claims of reliability (and meaningfulness for some test-takers). To begin with, a better question than “Does MBTI have good/poor reliability?” is “For whom does MBTI have good/poor reliability?” See the discussion (pages 290-292) in Capraro, R. M. & Capraro, M. M. (2010) about why it may be incorrect, in this case, to speak of reliability for a tool or instrument. Rather, it may be more accurate to talk about reliability for a particular evaluation or the interaction of evaluation and assessment tool. This article is available here and here. Continue reading

Recap of Better Collaboration’s Recent Video-Conferencing Events

Better Collaboration

For those curious about what Better Collaboration’s video-conference events are all about, I’ve provided a synopsis of the most recent ones below. Also, a brief introduction to material that will be covered at the next event follows.

May 22, 2013: Attendees were treated to a demonstration of Sococo by CEO and Co-Founder, Paul Brody. By providing a bird’s eye view of individual offices in a virtual office building, Sococo allows everyone to see where others are located. Each room has its own audio, video, and chat channel. This set-up is intended to provide the type of environmental structure and features that would facilitate and encourage the type of unscheduled business and social meetings found in traditional office environments. Continue reading

Unemployed United: Creating real opportunities for the unemployed

Unemployed United

(Clicking on this image will take you to the Unemployed United website.)

One of the most gratifying experiences of Internet surfing is stumbling upon other people’s great ideas, and I find that there are quite a few great ideas out there that deserve a lot more attention! In this post I’d like to draw your attention to one such idea that developed into a start-up company called Unemployed United. They won’t simply be providing another platform with smart features to search for work on. In what other ways do they aim to help, you ask?

Unemployed United’s stated mission is to assist those unemployed in the USA, UK, and Ireland to find or create jobs, and this is to be achieved “either by means of initial business investment or extra training to improve their chances of becoming employed. €10,000 per month will go to our unemployed members and we intend to increase this amount as the popularity of the website increases.” I must say that I quite like that intent to help give people a nudge in the direction out of unemployment they wish to take. Continue reading

Coping with Job Loss and Uncertain Times

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: ht...

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?series_id=CES0000000001&output_view=net_1mth. Prelim data for Dec 2009 and Jan 2010. Made with OpenOffice.org Calc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a previous post, I mentioned the possibility of a future in which a greater proportion of the population work as free agents (such as described by Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation). Although this is an ideal that I would embrace for myself, the picture isn’t all rosy as this also means fewer secure employment opportunities being available for those who want them. The days of having a secure job at the same organization for one’s entire work-life have declined indeed, however it’s become apparent that not everyone has made the adjustment in mindset. Furthermore, there are many who are ill-prepared for, and/or don’t welcome, the difficulties associated with more autonomy and taking a more entrepreneurial approach with their careers.

Apparently, there appears to be room for debate about automation being the cause behind the decline of jobs (see Robert D. Atkinson’s post - an explanation which, I’ll admit, is new to me). In addressing a transition to a more entrepreneurial way of life however, I agree with many of the recommendations proposed by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of Race Against the Machine. In this book, they listed changes to policies and societal infrastructures to support people as conditions necessitate a greater need to be one’s own boss – subject matter that I’ll cover in a future post.

For now however, I’d like to share some tips, videos, and articles that may prove helpful in putting you in the mind-frame to think about important steps to be taken if you happen to be dealing with job loss under these current conditions. Continue reading

The Gig Economy: Hope for Renaissance Men and Women?

English: Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. R...

Stories of young adults facing the realities of advancing in today’s work world (like this one here) bring to mind one of the worst aspects of working in the silos of the Industrial Age. Those of us who want to make a living off of our desire to excel in multiple fields are constantly reminded that having anything more than a monotonous list of the same roles on our résumé or LinkedIn profile page is the “kiss of death.” Yet, those of us who count ourselves as polymaths have experienced how expertise in one field, through providing a fresh perspective and broadened understanding, enables us to make valuable contributions to work in another. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where we can point to our multifaceted experiences, flexible minds, and insatiable curiosity as advantages and be taken seriously? Continue reading

Freedom = Loyalty: Understanding the Self-Employed Mindset

Since the rise of the Industrial Age, the vast majority of the population have chosen to go with regular employment in order to make a living due to existing incentives (e.g., pensions, benefits, etc.). Since this trend has been the norm for quite some time, self-employment has become perceived as “the ugly stepchild” – something people turn to when they “can’t get a job.” It’s true that a good contingent of people are forced into this situation, however there are still many who purposely choose it. Are they crazy?

Often I’ve heard that those who prefer regular employment and those who prefer self-employment don’t understand each other. Indeed, it seems to be the case of different values, motivations, and fears. I believe this gap between those who have an employee mindset and those who have a self-employment mindset is encapsulated well by one of my favorite Aesop’s fables, “The Dog and the Wolf.” For those who are unfamiliar with this story, here it is in the video below: Continue reading

Keeping Up with Technology: Your Interest Level is the Limit

Recently, I was given this friendly warning: When you’re old and gray, you’ll see what it’s like to be behind the times and to be uncomfortable with the new tools and gadgets. As many of us can attest, this association between age and obsolescence is pervasive and rarely questioned.

Life experience, however, has shown me that the actual cause of not being able to keep up isn’t age but lack of interest. If we take the established age groups – Baby Boomers, Generations X, Y, and Z (the Millennials) and parse everyone in each group out according to interest level in new technologies, wouldn’t this provide a more accurate, fine-grained reflection of who’s ahead and behind on the latest technologies? Perhaps you’ll see where that aforementioned association comes from. However, aging isn’t the root cause of falling behind. Continue reading