Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Matters If You Are Equally Qualified

Did you know that for every professional position open, there are at least five highly qualified candidates? At the height of the recession, the number used to be 7. It is really tough out there! What then can you do to stand out from the herd? Here are some suggestions: 1. The resume should be effective, showing a Problem-Action-Result orientation, targeted to a specific job you are applying for. 2. A good cover letter should be personalized, asking for an interview and ending on an optimistic note. 3. Between two equally qualified candidates, it is proven that the candidate who writes the thank-you note gets the job offer. (You may be surprised to learn that less than 10% of the candidates send a thank-you note promptly.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize: Did You Know This?

Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), the rich Swedish inventor of dynamite and the creator of the Nobel Prize, had a rude awakening. His brother had died, but the  newspapers, in error, reported his death, and published his obituary, which they had prepared in advance. They stated that he was known for creating the most destructive force known to mankind, dynamite. He was so shocked about what people thought about him, that he decided to change his public image and do something for humanity. He decided that he didn't want his family name remembered for destruction.

In 1866 Nobel had invented dynamite and built up companies and laboratories in more than 20 countries all over the world. Not only did he hold more than 350 patents, he also wrote poetry and drama and seriously considered becoming a writer.

While science had built the foundation for Nobel's own activities as a technological researcher and inventor, efforts to promote peace had always been close to his heart. As a result, he began thinking about giving away his fortune as a means to recognize those that have made significant contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. The prize for economics was added later on. The prize for peace was to be awarded to the person who "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses."

Friday, September 20, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, a psychiatrist, has written an inspirational book, "The Gift of Adversity". It is a series of autobiographical stories with life-changing lessons gleaned from challenging events. The book's main message is to consider adversity as a gift. It happens to all people and that you need to move on. It does not reflect your personal worth. Upgrade your skills and also learn new skills. Don't compare yourself to other fortunate people which can cause depression. Faith in oneself overcomes temporary turbulence. Let's learn from our mistakes. Excellent advice!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Can We Top This Attitude During Our Job Hunting?

Diana Nyad completed a miraculous swim on Monday, September 2, 2013, from Cuba to Florida, a distance of 110 miles. She became the first swimmer to swim without a shark cage. She was in the water for 53 hours. She finished her swim a day earlier than expected. It was her fifth attempt at age 64. As soon as she emerged from her course, here is what she said: "I HAVE THREE MESSAGES. ONE IS WE SHOULD NEVER, EVER GIVE UP. TWO IS YOU NEVER ARE TOO OLD TO CHASE YOUR DREAMS. THREE IS IT LOOKS LIKE A SOLITARY SPORT, BUT IT TAKES A TEAM." Even during our job hunting process, persistence will win in the end. Agreed?

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"

Steve Jobs in his Stanford commencement address talks about a quote attributed to Stewart Brand of Whole Earth Catalog. In its final issue in May 1974, on the back cover, as a final message, it signed off, Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. Jobs always wished that for himself. He told the graduating class that he wished that for them.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Get Your First Job after Graduation

The more things change, the more things remain the same!

Why do I say that?

The fundamentals of job search are unchanged!

What do I mean by that?

Regardless if you are a high school or college graduate, you need to sell yourself to a prospective employer as a problem solver, who can add significant value, compared to what they are willing to pay you. In other words, if they do not hire you with your skills, they would lose more money than what they will pay you!

Sounds simple? It is easy to say but difficult to do!

Here are three key pointers:

1.   Know exactly what you want to want to do ( technical, medical, legal, engineering, etc.).

2.   Where do you want to do it (industry, company, etc.).

3.   Find the hiring manager and convince her/him that you will be an asset to the company.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: From Abacus to iPhone

Let's ask ourselves an honest question and try to give an honest answer.

Have we increased only our level of knowledge or truly gained in wisdom?

My feeling is that we have not truly increased our level of wisdom.

Knowledge: Range of information. Wisdom:  A wise attitude or course of action.

Remember that as children we learned to count with blocks, followed by counting on our hands, and then progressed to multiplication tables, logarithms, slide rules, calculators, and so on to computers.

Human history in computing ranges from the abacus to an iPhone.

The abacus is also called a counting frame. It is a calculating tool used primarily in Asia for performing arithmetic processes. Note that the abacus was in use centuries before the adoption of the written modern numeral system and is still widely used by merchants, traders and clerks in Asia, Africa, and other places. Surprised?

The iPhone 5 developed in the Western world is a touchscreen-based smart phone developed by Apple Inc.. It is the sixth generation of the iPhone. It is amazing how much you can do with it. But there is also a limit to what you can do with it.

Recent studies have shown that multitasking in not as effective as claimed to be. If anything, it can be counterproductive. Along the same lines, if we can push back the invasion of tech gadgets (from smart phones to computers) in our daily lives during certain periods of the day, our effectiveness has proven to increase.

Think about it! It may be wise to do so. Time to put away our tech toys, including my getting away from this computer for a little while!