Market Me First - The Positive Career and Work Action Plan Market Yourself | Make Money | Be Happy

------------------ In Black and White -------------------------------

Since 2005. Market yourself. Find better work. Make a name. Survive Layoffs. Be successful.


What makes you angry?

What makes you angry about your job?

The health benefits?
What you get paid?
When you get paid?
No 401K?
No pension?
No dental plan?
No parking?
Working hours?
Vacation time?
Reimbursements and expenses?


Product development?
Customer service?
The color of your ads?
The lack of ads?
The phone messages/tree your customers go through?
Your email?
Reliability of internet/phones?
Your offices?
Your location?
No travel budget?
No trade show budget?
No marketing budget?
Broken product features?
Website out of date?
Website design?
Website broken?
Poor communication between sales and production?

Do you get angry because your company could do better and be more successful?

You see, if you are not concerned about the effectiveness of your company, it's product and the customer and are more concerned about your own benefits, then there is a problem. About where you are working.

You will never be fulfilled with your job unless you are deeply concerned and engaged with the company you work for.

There is a direct correlation in my opinion between employee satisfaction and their satisfaction with the way their company does business.

If pride is exhibited in a company and it's products by its employees, and it is shared by every single employee from the President to the shipping clerk, than satisfaction will follow in every other facet of the company.

Don't believe me? Check out Southwest Airlines and The Container Store. Both have high employee involvement, employee satisfaction and high customer approval ratings.

Get involved with your company. If the company you work for discourages involvement and responsibility, then change companies.


Superman versus Batman - Why care?

A lot of people like Superman. He is invulnerable. He is strong. He can fly. He can do things none of us can do.

I find that people who like Superman often want to do those same things.

Superman fans want to be invulnerable. They want to fly. They want to be strong. They want to be better than everyone else at everything.

There is nothing wrong with that, I guess.

But I don't like Superman.

It's not that Superman is not a nice guy or has a bad character. It's that he is too perfect. He does not have to try, he just "is".

And that is Superman's flaw.

I like Batman.

Batman has no special powers. He cannot fly. He does not have super strength. He does not even have a magic ring or costume that gives him superpowers. Batman regularly goes home with broken bones and bruises.

But Batman is passionate about what he does. He has to be.

Batman has to constantly exercise to remain in fighting shape.

He has to read, research and study to keep his mind sharp and focused.

Batman rarely sleeps.

Every time a case grows cold, or a criminal gets away or he gets beaten up, Batman has to figure out why and then has to get back in and try again.

Batman is obsessive compulsive about doing things right and finding solutions to crime.

Batman maintains a network of law enforcement, criminals, informants, conmen, and advisors who help him with information and guidance.

Batman has to use technology to stay competitive.

Batman has to try harder because the odds are against him.

But Batman succeeds.

He stops criminals (sometimes the same ones over and over again).

He has the grudging respect of both criminals and law enforcement alike.

He is accepted as an equal by other superheroes, many of whom could clean his clock - like Superman.

In the end, I would rather be like Batman. Batman is the enemy of good because Batman aspires to be great.

Batman stands alone at the end of the day. Alone in his accomplishments.

In my work, I like to think I try to be Batman. I have to be or I will fail. It would be easier to be Superman, but would I really still care? Would I really still try?

Superman does not have to try. Maybe that is why he gets caught with his tights down when Lex Luthor shows up with Kryptonite and turns him into a bowl of jelly.

What do you want to be today? A Batman or a Superman?


Are you a Corps?

What is a Corps?

corps \KORPS\,pronoun

1. A corps is an employee of the largest, faceless, nameless company\organization\government in the world.

2. A corps values work at an unremarkable company as long as it is 'good, steady, secure employment' where attendance, loyalty and conformity are carefully measured and rewarded.

3. A corps is concerned about their supervisor, rank, pay grade, temperature, lighting, insurance copayments, breakroom amenities, noise level, bathroom breaks, reimbursements, training, performance reviews, deductions, seating, documentation and cubicle height.

4. A corps shuns work in sales, marketing, or product development. [Exceptions are made for products which have not changed in several years].

5. A corps really likes processes, acronyms, forms, duplicates, triplicates, key cards, mid-level titles and rank.

6. A corps identifies and labels everyone as belonging to one of two camps - management and labor.

7. A corps has no problem with limited or 'locked-down' Internet access and/or phone systems.

8. A corps does not like change unless it is accompanied by mandatory training, documentation and a wage increase upon completion.

9. A corps does not like to 'rock the boat' - that particular function is handled by a labor representative or supervisor who carefully records their grievances and follows up in a timely fashion.

10. A corps dutifully uses every sick, personal and vacation day available to their particular ranking within a fixed year.

Are you a corps? Does it describe you? Does it sound like the place you work?

Are you concerned?


New Squidoo Lens

I mentioned Squidoo before, and realized I had not build one specifically for Marketing Me!

So, I just built a new lens on Squidoo. Check it out!

Check out my lens

Now add your own Lens!

If it's time for a career change, it's time for

MySpace careers

Jobs are now listed on MySpace - the hottest social networking site on the Internet.

What is interesting is the jobs are geared specifically towards many of the users of MySpace - retail, outdoor jobs, entry level, etc.

This should be interesting to watch.



In the automotive and manufacturing world, recalls are bad.

A defect or accident with a product means the product needs to be returned for correction or replacement.

In the career world, occasionally, recalls occur when a laid off employee is asked to return to their former place of work or position.

This occurs when companies regain their financial footing or realize they have eliminated too many key personnel. (Hint: bad sign).

Far too many victims of corporate downsizing wait for recall notices.

Imagine being in love with a special someone and getting publicly dumped and kicked out of the house. Imagine having an armed guard escort you from your significant other's home and your possessions piled on the curb.

Now, why would you go back to that?
Why would you want to go back and subject yourself to the definite possibility of further public humiliation?

Yet people do it everyday.

They wait for the re"call" from the factory or office... Why?

They think the job was the best they ever had - or could ever get.

They are afraid of working somewhere else - or looking.

They are afraid of the unknown, of rejection or change.

They think their identity is connected to their old job and feel lost.

Okay, so what is really so wrong with getting recalled back to work?

Companies have been known to call back laid off employees.

However, companies, except in very few situations, have no legal reason to reinstate an employee to their former position or pay.

Further, many companies will recall an employee but only as a contractor (i.e. no benefits), part-timer or temp.

Recalled employees often have to "start over" again at a company having lost all their accrued vacation and sick time, seniority and other tenure-related benefits.

Finally, companies which have involuntary staff reductions once, usually will have them again. These things are cyclical. Why possibly put your family through this again?

My advice is to never go back to a company after you have been laid off.

However, to every never there are some exceptions -

The company offers your old job back..

With several concessions including - greater responsibility, more money, increased leverage and opportunity for advancement...

An apology is nice, but not likely..


Your personal situation, (finances, family, etc) demands that you take the first available job.

Remember, recall notices are for broken and defective products. What do you want to be known as?


Step up to the plate

Revenues count.

Remember that.

Revenues count. They count more than loyalty, productivity, enthusiasm, or attendance.

A sales person who wanders into the office once a month yet closes one million in new business in that same time is more valuable than the sales employee who shows up every day and stays late yet only closes one hundred thousand.

I always seem to run against the current everywhere I go.

But today my boss, (yes I have one too), asked me to step up and help with a revenue shortfall this month.

If I pull in the half dozen or deals I have been working on, I will be the hero.

Revenues count. I think I can do it. Can you?

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Training and learning

In response to several emails about yesterday's post, please allow me to embellish.

Training is exactly what I said it was yesterday; an exercise in futility.

For instance, let's say you are an employee of a manufacturing company and have just been told there will be layoffs which will affect you.

The union has demanded that affected workers be retrained.

Training for what? To be a realtor? A flight attendant? A fireman?

The job you had is going away.

Layoffs mean the company is running out of money and is in serious financial trouble.

It is most likely the sign of the industry as a whole. (Think steel, airlines or automakers).
The job opportunities in your industry are shrinking, not growing.

You are asking your company (which is failing) to train you to do something else? Do what? Another job which will be downsized next year or sooner?

Don't ask for training - ask for money. Tell the union you want money. The biggest severance package you can get. Take the money and bolt. Don't look back.

What about on the job training provide by your employer? You write that is a punishment not a reward?

Let me describe what I mean.

Companies retrain employees all the time on new systems, procedures, etc. This is not a reward - it is a requirement for the employee in order to continue to be productive.

This is not the same as your employer sending you to off site training as a reward.

Your employer is sending you out of the office as a punishment.

Maybe he or she does not want to go to this class themselves, or maybe they feel guilty for your coming termination and they want to assuage their guilt.

Don't buy it! Off site training is either a requirement (mandatory) or a punishment. It is never a vacation with classes.

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Government training? Don't bother. It will be so loaded down with rules, regulations and inaction and contain very little substance. What substance there is will be hopelessly outdated and mediocre at best.

If it's time for a career change, it's time for

As I said yesterday and will say again and again - Training is for dogs.

Don't fall for that tired old mantra about "worker retraining" or "free training".

Learn what you want and need in order to get ahead. More on that later...


Training and learning

- A friend loses his job. He immediately signs up for a training class hoping it will land him a new job.

- An industrial worker, threatened with layoffs due to downsizing, demands training for a new job.

- Congress approves an appropriations bill which includes money for training.

- Your boss comes to you with your reward for loyal and devoted service over the past year; off site training.

Training is bad news.

- If you are paying for it, you are wasting your money.
- If you are getting laid off, it will not help you.
- If you boss rewards you with it, you are a failure bordering on termination.
- If government pays for training, it is probably outdated and mediocre.

Training is a death sentence. It is a money pit. It is punishment.

Don't confuse this with learning. Learning can be as simple as independent study for a few hours a night with a desktop application or an advanced course in electronics repair.

Learning is acquiring knowledge about a certain subject.

- I can learn about a subject and write an ebook about it in one weekend.

- A technician learns how an air conditioner compressor works and how to perform maintenance on the unit.

- An intern learns about the human heart and how to clear a clogged valve.

Want a bigger salary? Click here

Trainees get told how to tighten a screw, complete a report or put on a uniform.

Trainees get told "how things work and how they have always worked and how not to break it".

Training is what we do with horses and diaper wearing babies.

Training is for the dogs. Learning is for people.

Yesterday and Today

25 years ago - An unskilled laborer remarks how much easier it was in the 1960's to get a fulltime warehouse job which paid enough to support his family.

20 years ago - An autoworker complains about the unstable state of his industry and its inability to guarantee his job longterm.

5 years ago - A Microsoft systems engineer complains about a recent layoff from his once lucrative job and the subsequent migration of his job overseas.

Today - I/You/Someone complains about?


1) Is your job portable? Can it be done by someone else, somewhere else for less?

2) Is your job non-challenging? Can it be performed by someone younger, with less education, who speaks a different language, for less money?

3) Is your job expiring? Is it based upon old technology or no technology?

4) Is your job evolving? Have you been doing the same task for more than five years? One? Forever?

5) Has your company outlined its roadmap for future growth? Does it exist? What happens tomorrow where you work? Do you know?

6)How high is the ladder where you work? How many layers of management and employees are there? 1? 4? 12? More? How hard is it to speak with the CEO? President?

7) Do you know where the exit is at work? Do you have an escape plan? A back door?

Answer these questions or be one of the people at the top of the page. Now.



Self employment

Somebody wrote the other day and asked:

"Your advice, while good, appears to be geared towards people who want to work for other people. What advice do you have for the self employed?"

Good point.

When I started Marketing Me in 2002, I was obsessed with the numbers of people whose jobs were rapidly disappearing overseas and to corporate downsizing.

I thought to myself, "What if people were like companies? What if people were so indispensable to companies, a company would go to any length to retain them as they would any other necessary resource?".

So I began a life pursuit of teaching others to make themselves invaluable and important commodities to both their current employer and future employer.

Now, remove employer and insert customer. There you have it, Marketing Me is now inclusive of the self employed.



And for that matter, have you checked out YouTube?

You would have to be under a rock and not have heard of this site. What a wow idea!

Make a video, upload and the whole world can see it.

Check it out.

Do you do Squidoo?

I have recommended reading Seth Godin's blog for years. Read his books too. I have purchased and read most of them and cannot recommend them enough.

Godin has a new venture called Squidoo which provides a platform for people and organizations to share their ideas, products and interests using what Squidoo calls 'a lens'.

Check out my lens

I build a lens for a product line I was promoting, but lenses can be built upon almost any subject. Some of my favorites have been laptop bags, wrestlers and yes, pirates.

What interest is this to someone remarketing themselves? Unlike Monster, Dice or any other job board, Squidoo allows you to produce an entire page about you and what you do.

The possibilities are endless. An online resume. A portfolio of your work. Samples of code, software or products you have promoted or sold.

Click on the handy link above provided by Godin and Squidoo and find out more about Squidoo.


More than one life

Boy am I tired. I stayed up way too late last night working on a personal project.

I am trying to develop a new way to promote myself and products I have used and create a second (or third, fourth, etc.) income.

Here's the deal. We cannot depend upon one company to look out for our interests. The economy is changing way too fast and companies are scrambling to keep up. (Is the U.S. economy going down the tubes? That is a topic for another day!).

In the meantime, we have continued pressure to stay out of debt, build savings, invest in our children and ourselves. How can we manage it all?

The only answer I have is to work more (my career is myself) and diversify ourselves.

I think this is a good topic to think more about later.

Living two lives and tired. Oh well.


Air travel tipping point

Someone famous once wrote something like, "80 percent of winning is showing up".

The problem today with showing up is getting there.

I had a trip scheduled today and in no small way, breathed a sigh of relief when I found out my flight was cancelled. Yes - I was going to miss a handful of meetings including one with a critical client.

But I also missed out on the chore that air travel has become and saved my valuable commodity, time.

In order to complete a three hour flight and arrive on time and either ready to do business or get to a hotel in time, I have to leave very early in the morning or fly out the night before.

Then I have the luggage ordeal. I carefully go through my work bag and verify whether or not I have any dangerous objects which might have made their way in there, like tweezers, water or Neosporin.

Next, I have to arrive at the airport 1-2 hours before my flight leaves in order to guarantee I will pass through security. Did I check my socks before I left? Do they have any holes? Which shoes I am wearing? I hope I remembered to wear loafers and not laced shoes.

Then comes boarding. Is there room in the overhead for my bag? Where is my seat? Who do I have to sit next to? Is there anyone on board with a contagious disease?

All in all, flying is no longer a pleasant experience which it once was. I prefer the telephone and email now. Many of my clients are surprised by a phone call - they expected an email. Visits are not always required.

I hope it gets better. I hope we get smarter and deploy common sense more frequently.

Until then, showing up will have to be carefully considered before ranking it at 80% or what ever it is.
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