• Cool Corporate dot COM takes a look at the business world from the perspective of a young manager in the making. It offers posts, articles, and news clippings that cater to that young manager, but without being overly basic, so that it is still relevant to the seasoned business professional.
  • The Jazzy Cool One (aka, some guy named J.C. Payne), is a news producer with a news/talk radio station by day, and a passionate cheerleader for business and free enterprise the rest of the time.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Career Advice For IT Professionals

Deborah Rothberg has an article at eWEEK.com with views and insights from various workers from the IT world on how to make your way up the corporate later.

- Climbing The IT Ladder: Career Advice From Experts (eWEEK.com)

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Vacation: Fear & Loathing Of A Day Off

As I have spent the last three weeks dealing with the consequences 4 days personal vacation for myself from the radio show I produce, 4 days of vacation for one of the host of said program, special programming for today's company holiday to cover all the talk hosts having the day off, and the mythical comp day that comes from me working yet another holiday. Believe it or not, as hard as it is doing double work to cover for missing persons in the studio, I barely survived my own time off, even with a little cheating by calling my fill-in producer twice a day...for the sake of her sanity, honest...

With the building completely empty for most of the day, and just about no one to interrupt me, I pulled up some information on vacations that we have used on the show a part of the build up to summer. Not to my surprise, many American workers surveyed have a similar out look as I to vacation time. According to a telephone survey based on a sample of 618 small-business owners conducted by American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) , two-thirds of small-business owners are planning to take at least one full week of vacation this summer, though more than half plan to check in with their business at least once a day while gone. Only 25 percent of business owners say they will not check in at all on vacation, which is what I said two weeks ago. Did I mention that I actually stopped by the station one day...

The problem with missing a day of work is the fear you are going to miss something important. In this survey, 31 percent of respondents said they worry about missing an important business opportunity, while 26 percent were actually worried about judgment calls their staff might make while they are away. 31 percent of the small-business owners surveyed said they will find a way to mix vacation time with business opportunities save time and money. This is down from 34 percent in 2005.

Need more? Harris Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ:HPOL) and Ipsos Reid conducted Expedia.com's sixth annual Vacation Deprivation Survey for Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) , which once again rates American workers the most vacation-deprived in the world. This survey says Americans are likely to give up a total of 574 million vacation days in 2006, with comes out to one vacation day forfeited for each employee 18 and older.

The survey found that the France, Germany and Australia scored the highest in receiving and using up their vacation days. Employed adults in France received an average of 39 days of vacation each year, with 40 percent taking a three- to four-week vacation during the summer months. In Germany, the average employed adult used 26 of their 27 vacation days, placing vacation as a priority over work.

And at home, 38 percent of employed U.S. adults report regularly working more than 40 hours per week. Many Americans agree that vacations are necessary for their emotional and mental well-being. 36 percent of Americans surveyed reported that they felt better about their job and more productive upon returning from vacation...once they work up the nerve to actually get away.

- Vacation Comes But They Can't Stay Sway (Chicago Tribune)
- US Workers The Most Vacation-Deprived In The World, Study Says (Occupational Hazards)

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Vacation: Making Note Of The Work Week That Wasn't

I'm coming back to my computer after a week of vacation from the day job, in which I forced myself not to do anything productive unless sheer creativity took over. Not that having a legitimate excuse is that much better of a reason to not post for nine days, but in forcing myself not to work on anything, I was able to find clarity in many of my workaholic quandaries I've been mulling through in the past few weeks. I have come to terms with:

- knowing that I have way too many newsletters and blogs to attempt to write for and no reason to do so, other than 'well, I've been doing this for so long, why stop now...'
- the reality of time being a non-renewable resource. Time spend being productive is usually productive time. Time spend being wasted isn't necessarily wasted time. And despite how you spin it, there are very few higher level functions that you can truly do at the same time (although folding laundry while catching up on episodes of 'Days Of Our Lives' from NBC Universal, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has to come close, right?)
- the idea that if Cool Corporate dot COM and all this other stuff I do online is supposed to be run as a business, then it can't run second fiddle to my day job just because my day job actually provides income--actually that was established long ago. The kicker that I just realized is--MY ONLINE COMPANY WORK IS TO BE TREATED AS EQUAL TO MY DAY JOB, OR ONE OF THEM HAS TO GO...
- knowing no lives will be lost if I'm not their to do my job in the overly redundant and complicated way I do things. I might not like the mess left behind for me to clean up upon my arrival back...

Finally, one of my favorite bloggers Itzy Sabo has collected a few quotes on the effects of overload on the quality of work over at his blog Email Overloaded. They pretty much sum up the stresses I've been feeling with getting things done at work and at working on this blog, although most of them are self-induced because of my workaholic nature.

I've got a few post regarding some business observation from the work week that wasn't that require a little extra polish before they go live online. Hopefully, a few helpings of dated news will be better than no news at all.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Is There Bad New On The BlackBerry Horizon?

Fans of the BlackBerry handheld device, I have some good news and some bad news for you.

First the good news. For those who still can't get enough 'Crack'-Berry insight and information, I've found the blog for you. Russell Shaw's BB Hub Blog (http://www.bbhub.com/) offers plenty of daily information regarding the BlackBerry and similar technologies.

Now the bad news, or, how I came to stumble across this great blog. Russell Shaw is an enterprise computing journalist who writes for various periodicals and posts on CNET Networks, Incorporated's (NASDAQ:CNET) ZDNet Convergence blog. Scanning through some stories this afternoon, I found his post describing how the stock for BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) began to tumble just hours after the company wrapped up its annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando last Thursday. What should have been a mass cheerleading session for retailers and BlackBerry fanatics--just wasn't, and stock prices fell to a nearly three-month low. Shaw pointed out that in the worlds of tech-addicted users and the bloated money bags that hope to make a profit off then, the people that keep an eye on the stock price are often the soothsayer of doom for the company. It must also be noted that because of the heavy business use of the BlackBerry, many people who watch RIMM find themselves living in both worlds. Make sure you take a moment to read the entire post.

On Friday, RIM stock closed at its lowest level since dealing with patent infringement with NTP that threatened BlackBerry services shutdown for most of North America.

- Russell Shaw's BB Hub Blog
- Stock Plunges After Annual Meet: Trouble In BlackBerry-Land? (ZDNet)

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Laura’s Winning Ideas: LinkedIn Blog Blast Of The Week

If there was ever a chance that fate decided to reminded me of something that I already know and ought to not ignore, it was the pick for this week's LinkedIn Bloggers selection for the Blog Blast. Laura Ricci blog, Laura’s Winning Ideas, is a work in progress, but has more than enough information to help someone who is writing a proposal get on or keep on the right track.

As a person who does not know how to function unless he is managing some sort of project, and having a 'former life' in the Air Force that consisted of writing and reviewing proposals, I could read through this blog and see plenty of examples of things I coulda/shoulda'd and things that I had to learn the hard way in dealing with the 'civilian' world that still boggle my mind today. Especially timely are the tips on 'How to Prevent Burnout' (as I have been recently 'convinced' that sticking to a 40-hour work week might actually be good for one's health and one's co-workers' collective sanity), the struggles of 'Professional Bloggers' to glean good information from a lot of not-so-good sources, and one of the biggest buzz kills of my career path, bosses that insist on 'Fiddling with Employees’ Work' (I haven't had many who did this, but the few who did were able to earn more than their fair share of resentment from me while I worked for them).

I couldn't just view this blog from the eyes of proposal writing. This is everyday, every department business sense--common sense really. As we are constantly reminded in the world of business, everyone is selling something and you know you don't have resources to buy some of everything. If you have some time, check out Laura’s Winning Ideas. If you don't have time, make some.

- Laura’s Winning Ideas

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Saving The Source Magazine From Itself

Textron Financial Corporation, a Providence, R.I.-based lender and holder of the majority of stock controlling hip-hop magazine the Source is rumored to be close to finalizing its sale of the magazine. The perceived frontrunners for the assets and title of the magazine are Black Enterprise Greenwich Street Growth Partners, affiliated with Earl G. Graves Ltd's Black Enterprise magazine, and retired Rapper Jay-Z, with backing from a handful of recording executives.

The Source is a troubled title with a history of misfortunes to draw from as examples of their trouble (bad management, executives’ extreme misuse of assets, fighting at the Source Awards tapings to name a few). At one point, subscribers stop receiving the magazine by mail because their wasn't enough funding to pay postage.

But why save it? The Source was once considered the bible of hip-hop by all that mattered, and still is seen as a source of some of the finest information from the hip-hop world. Wouldn’t you like to have a head start in the information business, having a name that while not as prominent as it once was, at least conjures memories of profitable years as a name you could trust?

As a still young person, and an early die-hard follower of all things in the rap game, the chance to take a piece of history that may have grown out of favor, and to rehabilitate it, would be worth all the money I could find to out into it (assuming, of course, that I had the skills to fined a way to rehabilitate sales and revenue in the process). As I have made note of various print publications in previous posts, an push for some to evolve for the next age of the media, sometimes prematurely, even a magazine in severe disarray like the Source still has a decade's old core in place to draw from that would make a pretty good head start for many a publisher.

- The Source, Going Once... (New York Post)

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