Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Job Advice Everyone Should Use!

7 Pieces of Job Advice Your College Isn't Giving You

It's no secret that the current job market for recent graduates is — how can we put this lightly — not the best. The process of looking for a job is exhausting, and a lot of guidance, particularly from the very universities we've graduated from, can be summed up with the frustratingly simple recommendation to "join LinkedIn."
While setting up a LinkedIn account is, of course, a great start to your job search and networking with professionals, there are plenty of other simple tips that can give you a leg up on the competition.
Follow these seven tips to help you nail down that full-time position.
1. Reach out to people you admire.
Think of those people whom you look up to in your field. Now search for their contact info and send them an email. If you can't find their email addresses, tweet at them. Send them your work, ask them for advice and even tell them why you admire them — you'll be surprised by how many people will respond positively. Starting a dialogue could lead to a potential mentorship and could even be a great resource for your job search.
Equally important is returning emails to any and all potential employers. Just acknowledging someone's email can go a long way in establishing his or her impression of you. Especially for college grads applying for jobs, even if you get rejected or turned down, it's appropriate to reply and thank your contact for his or her consideration.
If you aren't the right fit for the current position, this tactic can encourage companies to keep you in mind for future openings.
2. Consider cleaning up your social footprint.
As you look for a job, you'll probably want to make your social accounts a little more professional across the board. While you obviously shouldn't erase your entire personality from your online presence, make your best judgment when considering which tweets to delete, which profile pictures to change and which privacy settings are best for you.
There are plenty of services that can help you through your cleanse with minimal grunt work, such as FireMe! for Twitter.
3. Network in person.
LinkedIn, as useful as it is, doesn't hold a monopoly over online job networking. Using a site like to RSVP to in-person networking and social events is a great way to meet potential employers. You can also find volunteer work through the site, which, aside from being a great addition to your resume, can help you meet new people.
Expect awkward interactions, long nights and lots of business cards. They're all part of the game.
4. Utilize social media as much as you can.
Aside from the obvious Linkedin, you can use plenty of your social accounts for job hunting (which makes point two on this list all the more important). Your profiles are typically some of the top results when someone Googles your name, and using them to appear more hirable won't take up too much of your time.
Consider adding your resume to your Twitter bio in the form of a public, view-only Google doc, or following job-posting blogs in your field. Search around for your school's alumni groups on social media and, more importantly, reach out to them.
5. Build something yourself.
While this will be obvious to many people in creative fields, having an online website and portfolio is a must-have for all industries these days.
Whether it's a simple online resume, a YouTube channel or a mobile game, building something yourself is a huge plus in the experience category. It proves you're passionate about your field and that you haven't been sitting around, waiting for an opportunity to come to you.
At the very least, having a personal website is tangible evidence that you have computer skills and are a serious candidate. And unless you have an unfortunately common name or share one with a celebrity, a personal domain name will help you rise to the top of search engines.
6. Set up a professional email.
Now that you're out of college, you should create a more professional email address. Whether that's simply a Gmail account of your full name or a custom address through a personal website, dropping the ".edu" from your address can make you look like more of an adult to employers.
7. Take advantage of calendars.
Set yourself a calendar reminder every few months to reconnect with former bosses and professors. This will keep you top-of-mind if any opportunities arise, giving you a shot at nailing down a job through their connections.
You can also use your calendar to designate certain days to search for jobs without interruption. Online applications and general searching can take a long time and be exhausting. Having an empty plate while you do it can be extremely helpful.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

What LAUGHTER Can Do To You!

Why Laughing Is Healthy

Can watching a funny cat video at work actually improve your productivity?
A study presented at this year's annual Experimental Biology conference finds that when people laugh, their brains are activated in the same way as when people are mindfully meditating.

The study, from researchers at Loma Linda University, measured the brain activity of 31 people when they watched a funny video and again when they watched a stressful video. Researchers measured activity in nine parts of the brain. What they noted was that during the funny videos, the viewers actually activated their entire brains, with high gamma wave activity, as measured by electroencephalography, or EEG.

EEG measures electrical activity along the scalp. “The electrical activity translates to neuroactivity,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Lee Berk. Gamma wave activity is associated with increased dopamine levels and putting the brain’s cognitive state at its most alert level.
Berk explained, “What we know is that gamma is found in every part of the brain and that it helps generate recall and reorganization.” That’s why, he said, after people meditate, they feel refreshed and are better positioned to solve problems.
Not only can laughing help increase your awareness, Berk thinks it is likely to have the health benefits of meditation, like reducing stress, blood pressure and pain.
Berk acknowledges that more research is needed about how laughing can actually benefit our health, but he is optimistic about an area of science that shows real correlation between the mind and body. “We are looking at the keyhole in the door – and the light is bright on the other side," he said.
The bottom line, he says: "Humor is evidenced to have a therapeutic value.”

So next time your boss catches you watching a funny cat video, just tell her that you’re trying to be more productive.
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So now that we learned that, 
here are some cat video's to 
make your day more productive!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Was Windows 8 a Mistake?!

Was Windows 8 a Mistake?!
Full article at:
Microsoft showed off the future of Windows this week at its 2014 Build developer conference, and it looks pretty retro. In fact, it looks a lot like Windows 7. During a tease of some possible new features in a future update, Microsoft's executive vice-president of operating systems Terry Myerson revealed a tool that users will recognize from previous versions of Windows: a Start menu. He also showed that users would soon be able to run Modern — aka "Metro" — apps (those apps you buy in the Windows Store with touch-oriented full-screen interfaces) within individual windows on the desktop...In other words, it's exactly how Windows used to work.

"Honestly I'm not really surprised," said one Build attendee, a developer from a major software company who didn't want to be named. "The new UI hadn't really caught on. There was a lot of user backlash. And let's be honest: Metro apps aren't the biggest draw."

Microsoft was going in this direction already. The latest Windows 8.1 Update reasserts some of the old-school desktop tools, such as the Windows taskbar, as well as buttons for close and minimize, which will now appear in Modern apps. A new Start menu, along with windows for Modern apps, takes the Windows 8 retrograde to another level. 

It's tantamount to an admission from Microsoft that the approach it took with Windows 8 was a mistake; that tiled, touch-first interfaces simply don't work very well on traditional PCs like laptops.That wasn't the party line when Microsoft debuted Windows 8 in the fall of 2012. At the time, the design philosophy implied desktop tools like the Start menu and taskbar were antiquated in an ever-connected world. And signposts such as permanent icons for power and search were simply unnecessary — just noisy "chrome" that distracts you from whatever you happen to be doing.That's dead wrong, according to user-experience designer Jesse James Garrett, chief creative officer of Adaptive Path, a design consulting firm. Garrett believes the whole approach of Windows 8 was broken from the start."It was just too different," he said. "I think they made a lot of decisions that make complete sense if you're bringing a completely new tablet OS to market. But the PC experience is loaded with expectations that go back decades. That was completely up-ended by what they put in front of people.

Killing the Start menu is probably the most revealing example of why Microsoft's approach irritated users. In Windows 8, the Start screen was intended to be a supercharged version of Start menu. Adapting it for touch, with smart, visual notifications in the form of live tiles, seemed like an idea that couldn't lose.

"The [Start menu] was a touchstone, an anchor you could always come back to," Garrett said. "The Start screen isn't an obvious analog to the Start menu. It's visually so complex that people get lost. Without the anchor, it creates friction for users."

Microsoft appears to have seen the error it made in merging a touch experience with a mouse-and-keyboard machine. It began to reverse course in Windows 8.1, bringing back the Start button (although it only served to return to the Start screen) and giving users the option to boot to the desktop.

With the 8.1 Update and the future changes Myerson showed, Microsoft is separating its conjoined OS twins even further. Windows, as a desktop interface, will be more or less back to normal (tablets will remain Modern-first).

"I think the initial idea to combine desktop and tablet was a mistake because it assumed that tablets would be the next evolution of the desktop," said Coty Beasley, a senior user-experience designer with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "That idea certainly didn’t take hold in the way Microsoft was expecting."

The Tablet Dilemma
Did it have to be this way? Why didn't Microsoft just launch Modern/Metro as a tablet-only OS, and leave the desktop well enough alone?

As a counterexample, Apple never tried to unite a tablet and desktop interface. CEO Tim Cook even famously compared the hybrid devices that resulted from such a pairing to "refrigerator-toasters." Some UI elements from iOS have made their way into OS X, but the iPad a decidedly different ecosystem from the Mac and OS X. This approach has worked out pretty well.

Microsoft was in a completely different market position, however. It wanted — needed — to jump-start its tablet platform, and it decided that leveraging the full power of the company's Windows developer base was the best way. Unfortunately, PC users were taken along for what ended up being a bumpy ride.

Microsoft's Windows 8 experiment wasn't necessarily a complete disaster. It hasn't helped PC sales, but it did generate developer interest in Modern apps, and it let Microsoft unite all of its consumer-facing platforms under a single standard called Universal Windows Apps. Now, if you develop for Windows, 90% of the code is the same when go from one kind of device to another, according to Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft's vice-president of developer platform and evangelism.

Modern Age
However, if Microsoft keeps shrinking the presence of the Modern UI on desktop PCs — the kinds of machines that constitute the vast majority of Windows devices on the market — what incentive will there be for developers to keep working there?
"The big advantage on Metro now is you can re-use the code for mobile devices and platforms," said Alexander Kohler, a developer for Direct Mail House. "I can address many more platforms now than I could before. Developing an app now isn't about Metro or not Metro. It's about, 'How many clients am I going to address?'"
Kohler is hinting at other side to the argument: If Modern apps will soon be able to run within windows, desktop users just might start downloading them. A few might even pay for the privilege.

"It seems people who use Windows 8 don't use Metro apps a ton," said Kellen Sunderland, who does development for Nokia and VideoLAN project, which makes the VLC player. "So targeting mouse and keyboard users should drive up those adoption rates." Running Modern apps in a desktop window may be a tough sell for users. Modern Evernote, for example, is optimized for touch, with simplified tiles and icons — just like you'd want on a tablet. It's difficult to see the advantage for a desktop user over, say, the web app.

Given those different experiences, once the Start menu is back and the desktop is king again, Microsoft may find itself back in the same position it was in before Windows 8: With a big desktop user base that sees little to no value in having a Windows tablet ecosystem present on their machines.

The troubled story of Windows 8 isn't over yet. It may still have a happy ending because it ultimately gave Microsoft a toehold in the tablet market. However, all the backpedalling exposes the folly of letting market strategy govern product development. Pleasing developers and breaking into new markets are important, but if they take hold of the process, they have a tendency to blur the end goal: Making products people actually want to use

Monday, May 5, 2014

This is a MUST DO!! Think Positive!

Speaking with power creates a sense of accountability and commitment to get the best from yourself and others. Your challenge is to consciously avoid using words that are power killers. These words sap energy and commitment from your interactions, and ultimately, your actions.
First, eliminate these words from your vocabulary:
1.     I can't
2.     If
3.     Doubt
4.     Try
5.     I don't think
6.     I don't have the time
7.     Maybe
8.     I'm afraid of
9.     I don't believe
10.     It's impossible.
Omitting these words is not enough. A sports team needs more than just a good defense to win; it also needs a powerful offense. So, mobilize your own offensive assault with the words you choose.
Build positive mental connections and commitment by using these power builders:
1.     I can
2.     I will
3.     Expect the best
4.     Commit
5.     I know
6.     I will make the time
7.     Positively
8.     I am confident
9.     I do believe
10.     All things are possible.
The power of your actions is preceded by the power of your words. Speak with power to bring out the best in yourself and others.

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