Tag Archives: job

How do You Overcome Burnout?

Being in the computer field is one of the fastest ways to get a ticket on the burnout express. Actually, I have a feeling that being a help-desk person is likely the career that will turn your hair grey the quickest. Burnout can happen to anyone at any time – no matter what career path they choose. IT personnel are highly susceptible to falling prey to this condition due to the long hours they usually tend to keep coupled with the demands placed on their brains. Nothing is ever easy when it comes to computers, especially when it comes to maintaining the computers everyone else is using.

Many IT professionals have also often pointed to a perceived lack of respect and appreciation as one of the things that lead them to question their choice in career paths. The recession has forced them to spend the last 18 months focused on the more tedious aspects of IT management—namely cost-cutting, politics and more cost-cutting, which makes their jobs that much more complicated.

What ways have you found to cope with the stress of computer-related work? How do you avoid burnout?

You won’t burn out on anything when you are looking for the best software and apps for your devices. We’ve made it easy!

Where Do You Look for Jobs?

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What do I do for a living? Go ahead and take a guess. I do a ton of different things: writer, content producer, consultant and occasionally a speaker at functions. I have managed to turn something I love into a career. You may not be so lucky, and might be looking for something new. Where do you go to find a new job?

Web 3 Jobs can give you a headline to your new career today. What’s interesting about the navigation of this site, is that there’s no page reloads. If I click on one of the tabs, the sidebar shuffles, and refreshes the main area automatically. That makes it much simpler when I’m searching for something in particular.

I can read more about a job now, or mark it to read later. You can even subscribe to RSS feeds for specific job categories or key words. This is a very effective way to look for something new or different. It’s even great for employers looking to hire someone!

I have 25 coupons to give away to 25 of you community members! If you’re looking for a job, or need to post a job – a coupon to do so for free will help! So, how can you win? Go to Twitter and send the following tweet:

@chrispirillo I need a job! http://www.web3jobs.com

Of course, if you’re wanting to hire someone and want to win, just change that to say:

@chrispirillo I am looking to hire someone! http://www.web3jobs.com

We’re at a point in history where many people are losing their jobs. However, there are people out there hiring. Web 3 Jobs is looking to bring the two parties closer together.

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How to NOT be “Just a…”

Geek!This is Lamarr Wilson’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

I recently asked a friend of mine where she works. She told me the company that she worked for, and then said, “I’m just a secretary.” A few years ago, when posed with the same question, another friend answered, “I’m just a teacher’s assistant.” In another scenario, I overheard a co-worker while he spoke to a parent say, “I’m just a janitor.” What’s wrong with these statements? You guessed it; they all said I’m “just a…”

Many people do not realize the impact of simple statements. It’s a statement that’s said quickly, but a famous biblical proverb states that “Out of the heart’s abundance, the mouth speaks.” I learned a long time ago that if you keep thinking that you’re “just a…,” then you always will be just that; it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’ll never aspire to do your best in your job; you’ll settle, or even wallow, in your contentment. Why could this happen? Simply put, because you’re “just a…”

Some years ago, when I was a teacher assistant, I was very proud of that job. True, it wasn’t as high profile as being a certified classroom teacher, but I learned just how important that position was by looking at the big picture. Instead of putting myself down (which is what you’re doing when you say “I’m just a…”), I became the BEST teacher assistant I could be. I was no longer “just a…” I was THE teacher assistant. When I worked retail sales, I aspired to be the best stock person, the best cashier, and the best order taker. In my current business as a consultant for elementary schools, how many potential clients would take me seriously if I told them, “Well, I’m just a technology consultant”? No, I am THE technology consultant, the one who can provide the best possible service for your needs. That kind of self-confidence makes people more comfortable to be around you and do business with you.

Going back to the example of the secretary at the outset, after receiving that reply, I firmly told my friend, “I like you, but I dislike when people say that. You’re not “just a” secretary. You are THE secretary. Your job is one of the most important in the company. Without you at the helm, the office would not run smoothly. Start thinking positively of your work, and you’ll find that you enjoy it more.”

Whatever you choose to do in life, do your very best, whether you’re a secretary, a teacher assistant, or a janitor. Change your thinking, and you’ll change your life. Become a specialist at your job. Become so valuable that your employer will not be able to afford to lay you off in these tough times. All of this starts with you having a strong degree of self-confidence, and building up your self-esteem. I encourage you to test this out; when people ask you what you do, in a powerful, resolute tone, state it proudly! You’ll find that people will be more comfortable around you, and they may open up and do the same. Change starts with you!

What is Your Day Job?

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People ask me all the time what exactly my ‘day job’ is. What is it that I DO all day every day? I’m about to answer that question once and for all. I am now going to show you what it is I do for a living. Yes, it’s true. I play music in my armpit. But that’s honestly not all I do. So what DO I do?

You can catch the video content that we produce each weeknight over on our YouTube. Of course, you can join us in the chat room, and watch us live as we record those videos!

I run the Lockergnome blogging network, where you can make money simply by writing about your passions or hobbies. We also have our new site just for Geeks, where you can make friends, upload videos and music, write a blog, and participate in forum threads!

When I’m not busy with those things, I also write a monthly column for CPU Magazine, and produce a small segment for CNN Live online each week. I travel occasionally to different Tech events, where I am often asked to be a presenter. I also produce content each month for ExpoTV, reviewing the latest hot tech products on the market.

All in all, there are many different things that I do on a daily basis as my “day job”. I only touched on the main things that you can easily see here. I also put on a large conference each year, called Gnomedex, take care of product reviews for our sponsors, and the like. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why I’m forever indebted to people like my uber awesome (did I mention awesome?!) assistant Kat, the best System Admin (and all around IT genius!) on the planet Ryan, Editor Bob, and all of the other people who help make everything I do possible. You guys rock, and I couldn’t do it without you.


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Do You Have Any Resume Building Tips?

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When is the last time you updated your resume? For me, it’s been well over ten years. Some companies, after you give them your resume, may even Google you. So, be careful of what you put out there online. What method do you use to update and give out your resume? If you’re padding your resume with things that aren’t exactly true, expect to get caught on it. Be honest when you build your resume. If you don’t know where to start, let me tell you this. Don’t download a template, or edit it in a word processing program. My recommendation at this point in time is to use something like Emurse.

Create, share and store your resume online for free. Creating a quality resume is a difficult task. Keeping track of your various versions is a hassle. Once you have it all figured out, there’s the worry of formats, hard drive failure and viruses.

Emurse allows you to focus on what’s most important… writing quality content and selling yourself. Emurse helps you keep track of both online and offline resume distribution. Keep notes and set statuses for each event. Set follow up reminders to keep you on task. Be notified whenever your resume is received.

Emurse allows you to safely build an online identity. Instantly turn your resume into a website with complete privacy control and advanced statistics. Emurse analyzes your resume and job search activity to deliver relevant jobs directly to you. Always be informed of other available positions with zero extra effort.

Their resume templates are just beautiful. You can look at job offers, view other people’s resume, and receive reports about your resume. I wish I had something like this back when I was sending out resumes. It’s just an easy and very effective way to conduct your job search. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

What impresses me the most is that a resume built here can be saved, printed out, or subscribed to using an RSS reader. There’s also a “contact” tab, to help you keep track of yourself and others. Actually, I’m so impressed with Emurse, that if I ever have a need to hire someone again I’ll likely insist that they use this site to apply. This is just literally that good… the best I’ve ever seen.


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How to Save Money for Gadgets

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A community member writes: “Being 14, I find that 99.99% of the time, no one will help me buy my geeky gadgets.I have created a list from my experiences on how to save money for your tech-related stuff.”

  • If you are short on cash, start a small business. Since I am only 14 and cannot get a ‘normal’ job yet, I sell computer parts on eBay. I have my own eBay store where I make a little over $100 a week, just from selling RAM and Hard Drives. The point is that on some websites, you can make money on the side with little effort. All you need to do is post a blog with AdSense or try to put up an EBay listing. These are very efficient ways to make money without much time or effort.
  • Don’t spend your money on stuff you don’t need. You don’t need to go to the movies 3 times a week. You can spend a little money once in a while, but put it towards the things you really want. Also, don’t buy a new notebook instead of paying your rent. Priorities come over tech items. How are you going to play XBox Live if you forgot to pay the electric bill? If you casually watch your money, you will notice quickly that buying your gadgets is not such a difficult task. Buying the store-brand items is not that much of a difference, other than the brand name items. Speaking of this, software is very similar. There is almost always a Freeware or Open-Source alternative. A very good example is GIMP or Seashore compared to a very expensive Photoshop.
  • Put a little money away. Instead of buying a fancy $60 meal, put $5-20 away a week. This adds up quickly. You won’t believe how quickly you will have money to buy the latest video game or something similar. Putting the money in the bank is also a good idea as you cannot touch it as easily as it would be if you had it in your wallet.
  • Look for good retailers, and discounts. As I know Chris has some really amazing coupons for software and things like that. Newegg is an amazing electronics retailer. I buy almost all of my electronics from them. It is like the Costco for Geeks. I have bought my Hard Drive, RAM, external Hard Drive and more from them. I highly recommend buying from retailers that sell the same product, but at a more affordable price. Just look around, before you pay an extra $100 for an item.
  • Most geeks have a bunch of Tech items that we don’t need, but others want. I bought an iPhone a few months ago, so why would I need a 5th gen iPod Classic? Sell the unneeded items on eBay or Craigslist to “save” money on another gadget. This works very well with video games, as EB games. They buy your old games for cheap prices, and you can use that money to buy a new game. Sell your old Hard Drive… get rid of the RAM you just upgraded from… you get the idea. If you don’t need something don’t throw it away… sell it.

POST UPDATE Tom wrote in after this was posted, to offer his method of saving for gadgets to us all!

I wanted to follow up that post by sharing one of my own little methods of saving money for gadgets. I use a simple spreadsheet to track what I have saved, and what I would like to buy. It tracks all the contributions I’ve made to my gadget fund, and tells me how much more I would need to save in order to buy each desired gadget. I primarily use this to save up for photographic equipment, which can be quite expensive. It’s not a very advanced spreadsheet, but it’s not supposed to be… it’s meant to be more of a psychological tool to encourage responsible spending. Sure, I could just grab the money from my short-term savings and pay it back later, but impulse spending is entirely too destructive in the long term. Instead, I prefer to put away small amounts of money over a reasonable amount of time. In the end, it’s much more fulfilling, not to mention responsible.


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Jobs for Teenagers

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A 14 year old community member sent in this top five list. He’ll go a long way, with a determination and work ethic this strong already. Hopefully, his tips will help the rest of you who are looking for ways to make money, but are too young still for “traditional” jobs.

  • Use your talents. Everyone has something they’re good at, and those skills/talents can be used in a productive way. If you’re an excellent guitarist, what better way than to look around for gigs at a local bar? If you’re an excellent writer, why not look at sending in some articles to a local newspaper for cash? There’s always something productive you can do with your talents.
  • Don’t shy away from hard work. Raking someone’s leaves isn’t fun, especially when it’s cold outside and you feel like you’re barely making a dent. Don’t give up. Get your hands dirty, it builds character. Sure, spending a day indoors may be a bit more comfortable, but you can’t hope to make money if you’re not willing to work.
  • Volunteer for everything. Teenagers have plenty of free time, I can attest to that. Umpire at the Little League Field, wash your neighbor’s car. If there’s a job to be done, there’s money to be made. Chances are, you have plenty of time to do it. Like I said previously, don’t shy away from anything. If you’re serious about making money, then get out there and do any odd job you can possibly find. Adults are more than willing to pay you.
  • Ask around. It can be casual. If you see an adult you know at the grocery store, very casually ask if there are any leaves they need raked or snow they need shoveled. Ask them if they need their dogs walked, or their house watched while they’re on vacation. It can’t hurt to ask, and eventually, adults are going to realize that you’re a good kid and you’re willing to do work. Eventually, they’ll have a job they need done and they’ll think of you.
  • Get the word out. This is easily the most important tip. If no one knows that that you’re willing to work and available for tasks, no one’s going to ask. It can be as simple as telling your mother to put in a good word for you at the den mother’s meeting by telling the other mothers that you’re willing to rake leaves or shovel snow. It can be as simple as posting an ad on the bulletin board at town hall. Heck, it can be as simple as going door-to-door in your neighborhood and letting your neighbors know that you’re available.


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Technology Career Advice

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Brian emailed me to ask my advice on getting into a Technology career. He states that he doesn’t have the capacity to learn physics and math in order to get a degree in Computer Science. He is wondering about possibly programming, networking, or even system building.

I’ve talked with several friends who are in the Technology field before about this same thing. All of us say the same thing to each other: College helped us get to where we are, but not in a classroom capacity. It’s the things we learned outside of the classroom that helped us the most. My degree is actually in English Education. I had planned to become an English teacher. One day when I was student teaching, it just suddenly hit me. I said out loud “what am I doing? I should be working with computers”. My seventh-grade class sitting in front of me were all like “DUH!”. I was the last to know.

You are your own person. Follow your heart. Take small or temporary jobs, and see what just clicks for you. If your dream job doesn’t exist, then create it. Will that be easy? Of course not. But in the long run, it’ll be the most rewarding path, trust me on this. I cannot tell you what to study, or even where and how to study it. That has to come from within yourself.

If you’re interested in programming, though, I’d like to recommend Squeak. Squeak is a modern, open source full-featured implementation of the powerful Smalltalk programming language and environment. Squeak is highly-portable – even its virtual machine is written entirely in Smalltalk making it easy to debug, analyze, and change. Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects from multimedia applications, educational platforms to commercial web application development. It’s an excellent beginning point for learning programming, aimed at kids and teens. Don’t want to learn something for “kids”, eh? Remember… start slowly. Baby steps are key.

If you have OS X, another good program to try out is Automator. Start creating workflows more easily than ever. Starting Points automatically displays a sheet in new workflow windows, from which you choose categories representing the things you want to do. Then select options from contextual pop-up menus.

I’m not the person you should be asking for career advice. The person you should be asking is the one you look at in the mirror. Take control of your future, and your destiny.

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Job Search Affiliate Programs

You can generate RSS job searches through a single TagJag OPML pull: http://tagjag.com/jobs/keyword/opml (obviously, you’d want to replace the word ‘keyword’ with your own search term. I think I’ve uncovered just about every job search site that outputs RSS for search queries (if I’m missing any, please let me know). I only bring this up after being approached by at least four companies in the past month to start doing co-branded job search portals. While I’m sure this works well for some, it’s never really worked well for me in the past.

Even though I’ve just set job listings at $5 for 60 days through Simply Hired’s Jobamatic, I’m really not expecting a single bite. Why? Oh, maybe because I’ve set up job affiliate sites before and (despite sending good traffic) have wound up making far less than it costs me to buy a cup of Peet’s coffee.

When you join an affiliate program, you’re doing THEM the favor – NOT the other way around. I remember being impressed with Amazon’s affiliate revenue back in the day, and then millions of publishers came online during the dot-com boom. I’d have been lucky to score $20 in a quarter for sending traffic to Amazon after that. I’ve had a few small Amazon Web Services ideas brewing in my head, but have been waiting for a few more things to click before jumping on them (literally and figuratively).

It was suggested to me that the design of these co-branded affiliate programs may have been keeping people from clicking and posting. Page design has absolutely nothing to do with – and if it did, Craigslist would’ve failed before it started.

If I can’t hyperlink directly to specific back-fill job offers without losing the affiliate credit, success will be severely hampered (and I’ll be sending you even more “free” traffic). I understand I’m supposed to promote these links to my community, but do they understand that the same people (you) belong to 100 other communities that have job listings that are extremely similar (even if they’re not from the same service)?

Job search / job listings are a commodity – to an extreme degree. I could plug anybody’s URL for a year and maybe eke out one new customer and make a few bucks in affiliate revenue. These things simply DO NOT WORK without a hook, and hooks do not apply if everybody’s given the same set of tools. This is one of the reasons why having an API is a great start – but don’t leave those of us without extra developer cycles hanging.

It’s the classic affiliate conundrum.

Looking for an Assistant in Seattle

Lockergnome (and Gnomedex, vicariously) is looking for an intern / assistant to help us with various and sundry tasks related to the operation of our activities. We’re looking for qualified individuals immediately, and only Seattle-area “locals” need apply.

Looking for someone who can…

  • Begin and complete most tasks from home
  • Remain completely self-motivated
  • Keep an open schedule over the coming months
  • Handle basic computer and Internet-centric tasks
  • Help us with our organizational efforts
  • Drive “around town” on errands if need be
  • Be online while working (via instant messenger)
  • Take direction and run with a project
  • Manage time effectively in an unstructured environment
  • Form a complete, grammatically-adequate sentence
  • Retain extreme attention to detail and task tracking

Not required, but extremely beneficial if you have…

  • Conference operations experience
  • Intermediate to advanced “computer skills”
  • Graphic and/or Web design, programming abilities
  • Some kind of sales background, offline or online
  • Familiarity with blogging and/or the tech industry
  • Any extraordinary talents that might help us

And yes, we’ve already started looking on Craigslist. I’d rather not deal with a temp agency, either. If you want, you can fire me a detailed email ([email protected]) and we can take it from there. Looking to fill this position sooner rather than later; compensation will likely be hourly with miscellanous benefits.