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

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


Marketing Me! The signs of a bad company

Working for the wrong company can spell disaster for your career. Besides, it is frustrating and stressful being at the wrong place anytime.

Besides the eternal signs (finances, layoffs, etc.) there are some other signs of a bad company.

High turnover - Does the HR office have a revolving door? If the average tenure of the employees is six months or less, it might be wise to look elsewhere.

Dirty offices or a bad neighborhood - An banker once told me before he gave a business a loan he made an on site visit to their offices. One of the first places he checked during his inspection was the employee restrooms. If they were messy or covered in graffiti, he could safely say the employees had little respect for the company. Not a good sign.

Who runs the company? Generally, successful companies are most product of the products and services they produce. These companies have innovative product developers, knowledgeable sales persons, exciting marketing and caring customer support people.

If a company is run by "line people" who only care about time on the clock, benefits and grievances, you most likely have a stagnant, unhappy place of business.

How empty are the halls? I find good companies have a bustling and energetic staff. Company offices which resemble ghost towns during normal business hours are possibly a sign of tardiness, absenteeism, high turnover or illness. Avoid these depressing places.

Office space - Is the office open, bright and positive? Or is it a warren of dark corridors, closed office doors and bland interiors. Would you want to work there?

Lack of eye contact
- Bad companies are run by untrustworthy people. If anyone in the interview process has a hard time making eye contact, it might a sign they are trying to hide something about the company. I would keep my eyes on the front door!

Bad companies eventually fail. Don't be on the losing team! Be aware of obvious and sometimes not so obvious signs of the bad company.

Happy hunting!

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Marketing Me! Squidoo!

Did you know I had a lens on Squidoo?

I am proud to say Marketing Me has been on Squidoo for a little over a year now. Squidoo is a great way to market yourself, your company or a product you are really jazzed about.

Check out my lens and if you do not have a lens yet, get one!

Happy hunting!

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Marketing Me! Second income

With all of the economic news going around, many of us are feeling the pinch in our pocketbooks.

So-called experts advise all of us to tighten our belts and cut back on spending. Generally, they throw out that "cut the Starbucks daily habit" or "take your lunch to work" suggestion as ways to increase your monthly bottom line.

Nonsense. Most of the people I know bring their lunch or skip eating out altogether. And during my morning commute, I am seeing fewer and fewer people clutching their Starbuck's styrofoams in the car these days.

The real answer to dealing with financial burdens is MAKE MORE MONEY. But how you say?

First, eliminate this 1950's 9-5, time clock work mindset you may feel entitled to. That reality has gone the way of the phone booth and airline meals.

Next, put together a few ideas you know you can accomplish for increasing your company's (YOU) income.

Here are some suggestions:

Task - start a blog, include advertising on the site, build readership, sell a few affiliate products, make some extra dollars. Don't plan on big bucks, but it can grow your name and lead to other outlets.

Task - start a storefront website and sell a few key, niche items. Amazon and affiliate programs make this sort of work a cinch. In a later post I can show you ways to do this.

Task - Write an e-book. Pick a topic or two and research them. Is there a need for what you have to offer? Self help, recipes, how-to and health related titles are all big. And most titles sell in the US$7.00 range with certain websites. Expect 50-100 pages in PDF format.

Task - Write a book. Same as above, perhaps mixed with your blogging efforts. This happens frequently but requires long term commitment and dedication.

Task - Contract. Have you ever had a friend talk about the problems at their company? Perhaps how hard it is to keep their office LAN running, how bad their website looks or simply how disorganized their office is? Offer your night and weekend expertise.

Task - Consult. A step up from contracting. Offer to help a fledgling company get off the ground with sales, marketing or operational help. Remember, they need not provide you with health care, with holding or unemployment. Only a 1099 contract check when work is completed.

Task - Actually take a second, part time job. What did you do in a previous life? Telemarketing? IT work? Tech support? All jobs which have after hours employment available.

The nice thing about nearly all of these suggestions is they take very little out of pocket expense on your part. Just time. Which you might have been wasting in front of the television anyway, right?

Happy hunting,


Marketing Me! Housing bubble blues

An recent review of posts over in an economics forum read like two sides of the same book:

"The lending/home loan crisis means I cannot buy a home!"

"Homes are so expensive, I cannot afford one where I live!"

"My home just lost some of it's value and my ARM has expired! Here come high payments for a home which has lost it's value!"

The common thread I kept seeing in black and white was "I cannot afford to live where I do!".

Why do people continue to live someplace they cannot afford?

I am stunned when I read about housing prices on the East and West Coasts and the financial juggling good people go through to afford two bedrooms, a bath and street front parking.

What drives someone to stay in an area with 600K home prices while they live on a 40K annual salary?

The answer is simple: Move. Here, big letters. MOVE.

Portland, New York, DC, the Bay Area.. all nice places, but not that great if you live in a 400 sq foot apartment with a view of a brick wall.

And what is so great about your job which requires your staying?

Get online. Research some other parts of the country. Call friends or networkers and land some interviews. Go visit. There are replacements for nearly everything you do in your overpriced town right now.

And if you make the move, you might end up a new affordable home you actually own! Wow.

I pointed this out to a friend who was dropping 2K a month on rent! I told him about wonderful homes in my home state in the 200-250K range. Four bedrooms, suburban, pools, schools, the works. He was blown away.

Stop reading about ARM's and start repeating .. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE.

Happy hunting!


Marketing Me! Four Ways to make a Bad Job Good

Here is the link.

The article makes four suggestions to improve your work place when you are not happy at work.

* Make a friend at work.
* Decrease your work time by moving closer to work.
* Know when it is not about your job (it is you with the problem).
* Do good deeds.

Alrighty then. It's Friday and I want to get on with my weekend so I will keep this short.

If your job is "bad", there is one solution. One. 1.

* Find a new job and quit the bad one.

This article suggests..

1) That bad job is the only employment option you have. There is no hope.

2) Making friends makes any place bearable. Even a concentration camp or prison.

3) Move closer. Who cares about neighborhoods, pricing, your children, let's cram everyone and their jobs into one cracker box and call it Big Happy!

4) It's your fault. You will never be happy. Work is freedom. Get professional help.

5) Do good deeds. You are unhappy at work because you are a bad person. Give service and serve others you evil worker.

No thanks.


Marketing Me! How to Win-Win at Work

You cannot afford to sit back, like our fathers did, punch a card 9–5 and expect to bring home enough bacon to buy a house, a car, and support a wife with three kids. It’s almost the year 2008; get into the eighties, will you?

- Mike Rogers

Ran across this wonderful article somewhere on the Internet today and read twice. Although I have never heard of Lew Rockwell before, this contribution came from a gentleman named Mike Rogers and is worth a read.

If you are looking for work, or have an unhappy job or maybe are about to graduate from college, read this article. Better yet, read it two or three times. Even better, print it out, stick it on your mirror and read it every day!

This article basically sums up what I have been trying to do at Marketing Me for the past two years.


Nobody owes you a successful life.
No job or company is going to take care of you.
Success is based solely upon how well you market yourself and market your successes - not necessarily how hard you work or how productive you are.
You are responsible for branding and promoting yourself both through your work - nobody else can or will do this.

Maybe I am preaching to the choir, maybe I sound like a broken record, maybe it gets tiring hearing the same old song at Marketing Me.. but this stuff works!

Get busy marketing and promoting yourself for REAL job security.

P.S. I dropped Mike an email to see if he has a website or blog and to let him know about this post.


Marketing Me! Certification over compensation?

While checking the visitor logs, I noticed a Google search for "add Microsoft certification after name in signature file" as a search string.


Please, let me blunt.

How many MBA's include

John Smith Harvard MBA in their signature file?

Okay, how many people with ordinary college degrees include

John Smith BA History State U.?

More obtuse, does an astronaut sign his name, Buzz Aldrin, (CMA) Certified Moon Astronaut?

Another question, do a Google search and find how many people sign their name, John Smith MCP/MCSE/etc? A whole bunch I'll bet. If so, how will you stand out?

Try this instead!

John Smith
Exceptional Microsoft IT Innovator and Outstanding Support Resource

There. Doesn't that have more panache?

BTW - Some professions demand a smattering of initials or abbreviations after a name. PhD or (ret.) come to mind as notable exceptions.

For the rest of us, we need to be more original on our "personal shingles".

Happy hunting!

Marketing Me! Resume Assistance

In the email box, a software based service which promises to get your resume "to the top of the heap". How enticing.

A conversation with a business colleague; an anecdote about a friend in the tech industry who hides industry related keywords in white font heavily throughout his resume. His rationale for doing so? That most resumes are scanned electronically and his hidden keywords will place him at the top of the hiring manager's list.

Look, these tricks may help get a resume in the "pile", but they are no guarantee of employment. Employment and steady work are the goal, not getting to the top of the "pile".

Networking, done correctly and constantly, results in less employment downtime.

Networking means more opportunity before and after the hire date.

Play resume games if you will, but concentrate on your personal network and leave the games, piles and heaps to the amateurs.

Happy hunting!


Marketing Me! Profit Diversity!

While looking over career listings on a company website, I saw a disclaimer which read "something" like this..

"Company XYZ promotes and believes in diversity and it is reflected in our hiring!"

Why don't companies start having a policy which reads something like this?

"Company XYZ believes and promotes hiring for profitability. We hire any candidate who can help our company become wildly profitable and successful! If you have the ability to increase our bottom line and can make XYZ gobs of money, we want to talk to you today!"

Companies which are profitable:

- Pay their employees
- Make money for their investors and shareholders.
- Pay their bills on time (vendors love this!).
- Pay their taxes.
- Do not lay off employees.
- Do not go out of business.

To be a profitable company, it has to make money. And making money takes profit minded people.

When will companies make profitability Job One?


Marketing Me! What to do if you have been laid off

Allegedly, this list came from the newspaper Washington Post, but I cannot find a record of it on their site. This was forwarded to be by The Career News, a newsletter I subscribe to.

I found this list a bit old fashioned and out of touch with modern reality.

Ask about severance pay. But don't bank on it. There is no federal law requiring an employer to let you take your half-empty notebooks with you, much less a couple weeks worth of pay.

My comments: Sure ask, it cannot hurt. Regarding notebooks and such, keep copies with you before the layoff happens.

Apply for unemployment benefits. This seems obvious, but young white-collar workers sometimes forget that such benefits apply to them.

My comments: I agree. Too many of us think unemployment is welfare. It is not. It is a system you and your employer have paid into. BUT - collecting benefits is a pain in the butt. The "gubermint" should make this an easier and online process.

Pare back discretionary spending, immediately. You want your savings to tide you over until you find the right job. Otherwise, you may have to take something awful just to stay afloat. It's rarely a good idea to let your bank balance completely drive major career decisions.

My comments: Common sense here. Also consider another form or two of income in the meantime. Working part time, contract work or consulting will help pay the bills and not be construed as replacement work.

Take a little time off. You may need a day or two to recalibrate, especially if the announcement came as a complete surprise. But don't let this drag on.

My comments: Wrong. Hit the ground running as soon as you are out the door at your old job. The early bird gets the worm. ALSO.. you should have had your network in place before this happened to cushion the blow. If not, get working on it now!

Perk up your resume. You will be handing it out plenty in the next few weeks or months, so take the time to make it perfect. If you need help, seek out a professional resume writer.

My comments: Wrong again! Don't spam the world with your resume. Bring it up to date but keep it ONLY for interviews and for select distribution. You know my opinion on professional resume writers. Better save your money and check out free online resources if you need help or guidance.

Distribute your resume. Once your resume is ready make sure you distribute it widely to job sites, personal contacts, employers and recruiters.

My comments: Why not make a thousand copies and throw them off the nearest office building onto a busy downtown intersection? Resume spam is no guarantee of a new job much less an interview.

Turn to your friends. Make sure you have a way to contact former co-workers and supervisors. You will need references, and a mass layoff can scatter your contacts to the wind.

My comments: This is called a network. You should have one in place now. Get busy before this situation occurs.

Don't burn any bridges. It's understandable that you will feel frustrated, even angry, but channel that anger in ways that won't damage your reputation with your former colleagues.

My comments: Rather, have a new position lined up and show these people what a mistake they made later.

Good luck!

Marketing Me! Out of office telephone rules

Out of the office for business or vacation means letting others know how to reach you by telephone.

I always leave the following greeting on my voice mail the day before I leave the office:

"Thank you for calling [My Name}. For the week of/day(s) of [Date] I will be traveling and away from my office.
Please leave a detailed message and best way to reach you. If this is urgent, you may contact me on my cellular phone
at [number]. If I am meeting with a customer, leave a message and I will call you back when available.
Thank you and have a great day"

On a related note, it drives me crazy when a business programs its phone system with a recorded message directing callers to either send an email or visit a website.

When someone uses the telephone, they want to speak with a person! Give them the means to do so!


Marketing Me! What to do about the gold brick at work?

Your know the gold brick.

Maybe he is the guy the boss spoon feeds sales leads to and helps close every deal.

Maybe he is the guy who goes to meetings, blabs his big mouth off, but has never successfully launched a product. Yet you just found out he is going to be managing your next project because everyone else thinks he is sooo charming.

Or perhaps he is the stellar non-performer who plays a mean game of golf with the boss and now has that cushy corner office while you linger in cubeville?

Okay, so what to do?

The fast answer is leave. Find another job and get away from a company which promotes this type of loser.

The medium answer is to deal with the problem by ignoring him and hoping he does not affect you too much.

The long term answer is to out do this yahoo and show him or her up at every opportunity. Remember, the gold brick bum does not work, does not like to work and rarely produces anything. Use this to your advantage.

Also... make your own alliances. Be it with the HR staff, the support team or operations people. Build your own army of rabid followers within the organization but outside of your own team.

Finally, keep your emotions in check. Gold bricks love people who lose their cool and make wild claims. The gold brick will roll his eyes and turn to your boss with some sarcastic remark about your behavior.

Most of all, keep building your network and fan base outside of the company with your clients, peers and competitors. Nothing is permanent but success!
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