Job and Pay Site List

I will update this entry often and try to keep it near the top of the site as a reference for people. I understand that my site isn’t as helpful as some other sites.

Entrepreneur Sites

work.com – this is a how to site for everything entrepreneur
eventuring.com – this a how to site for everything entrepreneur
about small business – this a more simplistic site that many people are familiar with their template
sba.gov – this is the government site
score.org – provides counselors and advice to small business owners
bplans.com – this shows you how and helps you to create a business plan

Salary Sites

payscale.com – this site takes survey data and provides you an idea of where you fit in the market
salary.com – this site takes survey data and provides you an idea of where you fit in the market
Glassdoor.com – this site is a user submitted review site which also has salaries

Job Sites

careerbuilder.com – this is a job search site but has advice and salary too
monster.com – this is a resume posting and job seeker site mainly
hotjobs – this is a resume posting and job seeker site mainly owned by yahoo
dice.com – this is a resume posting and job seeker site mainly for technical workers
theladders.com – this a resume posting and job seeker site for those earning 100k plus
realmatch.com – job site that functions in the same manner as a dating site

Job Sites for those nearing retirement

encore.org – this is a job site that tries to match people who are looking for community/society based jobs
bizstarters.com – this is resource website where you can find self help guides, coaching, and workshops
grayhairmanagement.com – this is a professional networking site geared to those who are more experienced
Retiredbrains.com – this is both an information site geared toward the nearly retired as well job search site
retirementjobs.com – this is a job search site for people 50 and over
2young2retire.com – this site focuses on those that are ready for roles that are self reflective and the work associated with it

Other Sites

compsych.com – this site is for employee reach out programs
sibson.com – this is a HR consulting firm
careerbuilders.com – this site is an executive search and career coaching site
Weddles.com – HR related site for both job seekers and recruiters
Jobschmob.com – A humorous site for user submitted work stories

Research

The Pew Charitable Trusts – this site does research regarding public policy and the effects of it on the economy and related areas

Unconventional Ways to be more Productive

Careerbuilder.com partners with CNN.comh to provide good, quick reads regarding employment. I like these articles because they tend to be helpful, logical, and easy to read. Here is an excerpt from one I liked called Experts: Goof off at work, read a book, ignore e-mail by Patrick Erwin:

Here are some surprising work habits that might seem to contradict
conventional wisdom, but have helped these workers achieve their goals.

1. Read a book at work


Gail Hernandez, a marketing coordinator in New Hampshire, faced a
challenge. “I had to learn several software programs without attending
classes,” she explains.

Her solution was to press the “pause” button on her regular work so she could read the instruction materials at her desk.

“I received some kidding from co-workers, but I am now able to use Illustrator and Dreamweaver,” Hernandez says.


Whether it’s a textbook, newspaper or white paper, it’s beneficial to
be informed. Learning and training is always an ongoing process.

2. Take frequent breaks — or longer ones


Many workplaces have designated break times, but several experts
suggest that employees follow their instincts instead of schedules and
unplug for a moment when your mind or body are on overload.


“Humans can only concentrate for 45 minutes at a time,” declares Doris
Jeanette, a psychologist with the Center for New Psychology in
Philadelphia. Jeanette suggests that employees work for 50 minutes of
the hour and use the other 10 minutes to change focus or shift gears.


Sue Painter, a marketing consultant and president of The Confident
Marketer, proposes an even longer break. When things are hectic,
Painter leaves the office.

“I absolutely force myself to leave
for at least an hour. I gain perspective, get refreshed and go back to
the office in a much calmer and more effective state of mind,” Painter
remarks.

3. Blow off low-priority tasks

Author and speaker Allan Bacon insists that blowing off work — the most unimportant work — can be beneficial.


“See if anyone notices or complains,” Bacon says. Why? In addition to
making your “to do” list less cluttered, Bacon believes this tactic
gives you more time. “With the extra time, put more thought and effort
into your top priorities.”

4. Ignore e-mails and voice mail

5. Set aside time to clear away the cobwebs

6. Goof off

Setting aside time to goof off at work
can relieve stress, improve morale and even help with team building
efforts. Most importantly, it can recharge workers who are in the midst
of a long, stressful workday.

“It makes a huge difference,”
reveals consultant Deborah Grayson Riegel, president of Elevated
Training. “Surf the Internet, play solitaire, close your eyes. Check
out, rest and repair,” she suggests.

7. Lower your standards

Riegel says that many people
“procrastinate because they are perfectionists. They put off getting
started on projects because they want all the conditions to be perfect.”

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas everyone.

And if you don’t celebrate Christmas then I hope you have an extra helping of
happiness and healthiness.

A Review of Grown Up Digital

I didn’t consider it, but starting now and growing over the next 5 years is a list of books that will pinpoint the grouping of people born between 1977 and 1997. Harry Hurt III does a review of a book by Don Tapscott called Grown Up Digital. According to the review, the book does a good job explaining why this generation is the way it is. Mostly it is due to the internet and a changing culture. Here are some tidbits I pulled from the review:

  • The group born from 1977 and 1997 (Net Geners) is 81 million people
    • 27% of the US population
  • The group born from 1946 to 1964 (the baby boomers) is 77 million people
    • 23% of the US population
  • Baby Boomers watch TV 22.4 hours a week
  • Net Geners watch TV 17.4 hours a week
    • but spend between 8 and 31 hours a week on the internet

Don Tapscott identifies 8 norms of the Net Geners:

  • they prize freedom
  • they want to customize things
  • they enjoy
    collaboration
  • they scrutinize everything
  • they insist on integrity in
    institutions and corporations
  • they want to have fun even at school or
    work
  • they believe that speed in technology and all else is normal
  • they regard constant innovation as a fact of life.

Here are some excerpts:

“As the first global generation ever, the Net Geners are smarter,
quicker and more tolerant of diversity than their predecessors,” he
writes. “They care strongly about justice and the problems faced by
their society and are typically engaged in some kind of civic activity
at school, at work or in their communities.”

“Not only do video game players notice more, they have highly developed
spatial skills that are useful for architects, engineers and surgeons,”
he says.

Mr. Tapscott’s most severe criticism of Net Geners is that they are
“undermining their future privacy” by giving away vast amounts of
personal information along with potentially embarrassing photographs
and videos over the Internet. “They tell us they don’t care, that it’s
all about sharing,” he writes. “But here I must speak with the voice of
experience. Someday that party picture is going to bite them when they
seek a senior corporate job or public office.”

Malcolm Gladwell Talking about Outliers on Charlie Rose

Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite writers. I enjoy the way he ties together different relationships. I plan on checking out his latest book Outliers after I read another that I’m into right now.

Here is a good interview with Charlie Rose:

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?showShareButtons=true&docId=7927861560484865829%3A16000%3A1822000&hl=en

Strange Decision by the NY Times

I just caught up on some reading that I’ve neglected. One writer I like is Marci Alboher. She authors a blog for the NY Times called Shifting Careers. Since my blog is about work, I tend to check out other blogs that are similar in nature. So it surprised me when I caught up with my reading to see that her blog is being discontinued. I know the newspaper industry isn’t doing well, but this is an online blog about something that is very prevalent right now – employment.

I’m astonished at this decision by the NY Times. Perhaps the plan is to diversify this topic a little for the paper. That is probably a better strategy overall. But I’m not confident in that assumption.

Here is an excerpt from Alboher’s last post. It is dead on:

Not surprisingly,
a remarkable number of people reminded me that career growth generally
happens out of disappointments like this. 

During Down Economic Times a Couple of Avenues Grow in Value: Education and Art

There are a lot of talented people who have lost their job over the last few months. If I were in this situation I would have to accept the fact that the job market isn’t getting better for another couple of months at least (although there should be a slight improvement toward the end of January once 2009 budgets open up, but it won’t last and won’t be particularly significant). So in the mean time I would take stock of my skill set and what I offer to potential employers. The next thing I would consider is how I can self promote in an environment that doesn’t want to listen.

One possible answer to these questions is to write a book. It consumes time, which you have plenty of, it rounds out your written communication skills, it is a lasting resume item, and best of all, it tells the story of your labor. During down economic times a couple of avenues grow in value: education and art. A clever book can be both.

I ran across a great cnet.com article by David Carnoy called Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know. Check out the link for more information. And the comments are really good too. Here is an incomplete passage from his work:

1. Self-publishing is easy.

Here’s how it works. You choose a size for your book, format your Word manuscript to fit that size, turn your Word doc into a PDF, create some cover art in Photoshop, turn that into a PDF, and upload it all to the self-publisher of your choice and get a book proof back within a couple of weeks (or sooner) if you succeeded in formatting everything correctly. You can then make changes and swap in new PDFs.

After you officially publish your book, you can make changes to your cover and interior text by submitting new PDFs, though your book will go offline (“out of stock”) for a week or two. BookSurge charges $50 for uploading a new cover and $50 for a new interior.

Lulu offers very good, detailed instructions for the DIY crowd, doesn’t require any upfront fees, and is very popular as a result. Ironically, I used Lulu’s how-to content to put my book together for BookSurge, which has very poor instructions for DIYers. Interesting stat: Lulu claims to publish an average of 4,000 books a week. Oddly, the company didn’t offer the size of the book I wanted to create (8 x 5.25 inches–the standard size for trade paperback novels; Lulu only offers 6 x 9, which is too big).

2. Quality has improved.

I can’t speak for all self-publishing companies, but the quality of Booksurge’s books seem quite solid. You can’t do a fancy matte cover (yet), but the books look and feel like “real” books. The only giveaway that you’re dealing with a self-published book would be if the cover were poorly designed–which, unfortunately, is too often the case.

3. Some of the more successful self-published books are about self-publishing.

I don’t know what this says about the industry, but it’s probably not a good thing. I didn’t read any books because I was busy scouring the Internet, but there are a few that appear to have some useful information. However, take everything with a grain of salt because things change quickly in self-publishing and analysis of the industry tends to attract a lot of qualifying statements. As Mark Levine notes in a “sample” review of his The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, “Will BookPros provide a service that is $20,000 better than anyone else in this book? If your book takes off, then yes. However, if your book isn’t very successful, you may not think so.” In another noteworthy book, Stacie Vander Pol takes a stab at ranking top performing POD self-publishing companies based on sales performance. I’d like to see this stuff on a free website rather than a book. But that’s just me.

4. Good self-published books are few and far between.

5. The odds are against you.

6. Creating a “professional” book is really hard.

7. Have a clear goal for your book.

This will help dictate what service you go with. For instance, if your objective is to create a book for posterity’s sake (so your friends and family can read it for all eternity), you won’t have to invest a lot of time or money to produce something that’s quite acceptable. Lulu is probably your best bet. However, if yours is a commercial venture with big aspirations, things get pretty tricky.

8. Even if it’s great, there’s a good chance your book won’t sell.

9. Niche books do best.

This seems to be the mantra of self-publishing. Nonfiction books with a well-defined topic and a nice hook to them can do well, especially if they have a target audience that you can focus on. Religious books are a perfect case in point. And fiction? Well, it’s next to impossible. But then again, the majority of fiction books–even ones from “real” publishers–struggle in the marketplace. That’s why traditional publishers stick with tried-and-true authors with loyal followings.

10. Buy your own ISBN–and create your own publishing house.

11. Create a unique title.

12. Turn-key solutions cost a lot of money.

13. Self-publishers don’t care if your book is successful.

14. Buy as little as possible from your publishing company.

15. If you’re serious about your book, hire a book doctor and get it copy-edited.

16. Negotiate everything.

BookSurge and other self-publishing companies are always offering special deals on their various services. There isn’t whole lot of leeway, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for deal sweeteners–like more free copies of your book (they often throw in free copies of your book). It also doesn’t hurt to ask about deals that have technically expired. In sales, everything is negotiable. Remember, these people have quotas and bonuses at stake. (For their sake, I hope they do anyway).

17. Ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to complain.

18. Self-publishing is a contact sport.

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to self-publishing is that they expect to just put out a book and have it magically sell. They might even hire a publicist and expect something to happen. It’s just not so. You have to be a relentless self-promoter. Unfortunately, a lot people just don’t have the stomach or time for it–which is part of the reason I anted up for BookSurge’s Buy X, Get Y program, which is essentially a form of advertising.

19. Getting your book in bookstores sounds good, but that shouldn’t be a real concern.

20. Self-published books don’t get reviewed.

21. Design your book cover to look good small.

Traditional book publishers design–or at least they used to design–a book cover to make a book stand out in a bookstore and evoke whatever sentiment it was supposed to evoke. Well, with Amazon becoming a dominant bookseller, your book has to stand out as a thumbnail image online because that’s how most people are going to come across it. If you’re primarily selling through Amazon, think small and work your way up.

22. If you’re selling online, make the most out of your Amazon page.

I’m a little bit surprised by how neglectful some self-published authors are when it comes to their Amazon product pages. I’ve talked to self-published authors who spend a few thousand dollars on a publicist and their Amazon product page looks woeful–and they’ve barely even looked at it. I ask, “Where are people going to buy your book?” They don’t seem to realize how important Amazon is. True, some people market through a Web site or buy Google keywords to drive traffic there. But you need to have your Amazon page look as good as possible and take advantage of the “tools” Amazon has to help you surface your book (“Tags,” Listmania, r
eader reviews, etc.). It may not have a major impact, but it’s better than doing nothing.

One tip: Make sure your book is put into five browsing categories (it’s only allowed 5). It helps to categorize your book to readers and also will make your book look better if it’s a bestseller in those categories. No one at BookSurge suggested this to me; I had to figure it out on my own. (Again, they don’t care, you have to make them care).

The manifestation of categorizing your book.

23. Pricing is a serious challenge.

The biggest problem with going the POD route is that it costs more to produce one-offs of your book than it does to do produce thousands. I can buy my book–it’s a paperback–from BookSurge for $5.70. It’s about 370 pages. Now, if I went ahead and had the thing printed up directly through an off-set printer–and ordered a few thousand of them–I could probably cut the cost of the book in half, and maybe even a little more. But I’d have to pay the upfront fee to buy the books and then I’d have to figure out a way to sell them (this is how vanity presses used to work–you had to agree to buy a few thousand books).

Amazon sells my book for $15.99 (It stared at $17.99 but I’ve managed to get BookSurge to whittle the price down by $2). BookSurge royalty rates seem to be standardized: authors get 35% of the book’s list price. You can also sweeten the pot by becoming an Amazon affiliate: if customers buy the book through the Amazon affiliate link (say, on an author-produced website that advertises the book), that’s an additional 7% in the author’s pocket.

Those are actually quite good royalty rates (interesting article here) in the world of subsidy self-publishing. But the fact is, to compete against top-selling titles from traditional publishers my book should be a little cheaper (I barely beat the hardcover prices of bestsellers). Some of the other subsidy self-publishers seem to have a little more flexibility with price setting on Amazon, but BookSurge appears to have a better overall rate of return compared to the likes of Lulu, iUniverse, and Xlibris. In other words, if I was using Lulu and I set my selling price at $15.99 on Amazon, I’d make less money. (Lulu.com touts its own online store, which is well designed and has a big audience, but–compared to the Amazon juggernaut–I have my doubts you can sell a lot of books there).

As I said, I’ve generally had a good experience with BookSurge and have been pleased with the service. However, the one thing that I truly resent is how my book is priced on Amazon. There’s no discount on it! Every book from every “real” publisher has a slash through the list price and then there’s the Amazon price. On mine, the list price is the price.

That’s not cool, Mr. Bezos. I mean, if BookSurge needs to set a price floor to hit certain margins, set the list price higher, put a slash through it, and put the street price at a buck or two less and give the author the royalty on the street price. That way, the book looks like every other book and the buyer thinks he or she is getting some sort of discount. That’s important. As it is, I guess I’m looking at sort of an Apple pricing model, where the list price is the street price. I should note that there is a chance my book might get discounted–but it’s dependent on an Amazon algorithm that kicks in when you hit some sort of milestone that remains shrouded in mystery. To be fair this is not a BookSurge problem exactly, it’s more of an Amazon/BookSurge synergy problem and a database issue.

24. Electronic books have potential, but they’re still in their infancy.

25. Self-publishing is a fluid business.