The new flexible workforce

When I was researching my book a few years ago, I was looking for employers who were taking advantage of people’s desires to build significant careers while working a flexible schedule. I highlighted companies like Axiom, a new kind of law firm that caters to lawyers who don’t want traditional full-time hours (e.g. working parents, artists, or those starting businesses on the side).  Axiom pitches itself to clients as an economical alternative to big law firms since it can avoid the high overhead associated with overstaffed firms. Another firm, Virtual Law Partners,
has been getting some buzz lately with a similar approach.

Now scores of companies are thinking flexible and virtual, in all kinds of fields — from virtual assistants (check out Delegate Solutions), to corporate executives (see EPOCH). The troubled economy has been a boon to businesses like these, which can offer part-time employment to displaced workers and deliver lower cost services to clients. {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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Career lessons from my (young) personal trainer

I have a 21-year old personal trainer, Scott, whom I’ve been working with for about two years. He is a good trainer and knows his stuff. But that’s not why I see him two to three times a week. I use him because he is a natural marketer who happens to be marketing himself.

At a birthday dinner last week with Scott and a group of his clients, talk turned to how many of us, well into our 30s and 40s and established in our careers, could learn a lot about career management by watching our young trainer. And it has nothing to do with his use of technology or some of the other ways we think young people are succeeding today.  It’s pure old-fashioned business smarts.

Scott is a first-generation American who was raised by a single mother and grandmother. He tested into the best schools and has held part-time jobs since he was around 14. By age 16, he was contributing to the family finances. When I started working with him, he was in his junior year of college, and this fall he’ll be starting graduate school. All along, he has worked up to 30 hours a week at the gym, building a serious career out of an arrangement that could easily look and feel like a part-time gig.

Here’s some of what he does right: {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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Where Are They Now: Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields, lawyer/serial entrepreneur/author/marketer

Jonathan Fields

I’m starting a new interview series where I’ll be catching up with people at various stages of a career transition or reinvention. In some cases, the subjects will be folks I’ve profiled before, as is the case with my first guest, Jonathan Fields. I met Jonathan in the Fall of 2001 when I interviewed him for this New York Times article on businesses that were thriving in post-9/11 New York City. At that time, Jonathan had recently left a position as an associate with Debevoise and Plimpton to open Sonic Yoga, a yoga studio in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen.

In 2003, I wrote a follow-up story on him for the Times, this time focusing on Jonathan’s path from corporate lawyer to entrepreneurial yogi.

Jonathan is in the midst of yet another identity shift as he has just published his first book, Career Renegade, which is steadily climbing the Amazon rankings.
Read more »

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3 Easy Ways Email Can Jumpstart a Career

In addition to my usual career-related activities, I have been working overtime lately talking with friends, family members and colleagues who have recently lost their jobs or are concerned about where the job market and economy are going. I’ve decided to share some of the things I’m telling them with you, so that we can all join in on spreading good career karma.

We all love bitching about email, but when it comes to simple and free tools that can jumpstart a career, nothing beats it. Here’s three easy things you can do with email to help your career, or the career of someone you care about.
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A Board Game for the New Rules of Work

Blogging as a Low-Cost, High Return Marketing Tool

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Self-promotion, revisited

In today’s Shifting Careers column at NYT.com I revisited the always-popular terrain of self-promotion, with a specific focus on introverts, who tend to have an even more difficult time than most tooting their own horns.

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Is self-promotion a women’s problem?


The avalanche of emails responding to my Shifting Careers column on self-promotion continues. When I wrote that column, I didn’t think self-promotion was a women’s issue and I know that many men — and many folks who were just raised to think being humble is good manners — also have a problem with it. But a lot of the experts and commentators believe that women have a harder time with it than men.

Lisa Cullen, Time.com’s workplace blogger (the unidentified friend who called me a “master of self-promotion”), blogged about my column. For her, it all came down to the estrogen factor. Read what she has to say here.

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Creating buzz around your ideas (NYT.com)


Yesterday, my Shifting Careers column at The New York Times online focused on ways to create buzz about your ideas. Based on the flood of reader emails I’ve been getting, I’m not the only one interested in this subject. If you have any tips to share — especially ideas for those who are uncomfortable about self-promotion and/or who can’t afford outside p.r. help, please share them in the comments. (There’s no way to comment on the NYT website yet, so leave your comments on the blog.)

Here’s the article, “Tools and Tips to Create Buzz Around Your Ideas.”

Note: Through some weird URL glitch, the link to the 360 Profiler mentioned in the first paragraph was published incorrectly. If you want to try the tool, click here.

UPDATE:
Just stumbled on this article on Forbes.com “The Single Greatest Marketing Tool” that does a good job of explaining public relations — from both a do-it-yourself and a hire-an-expert perspective.

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Good Self-Promoter, an Oxymoron? (www.nytimes.com)


This week my Shifting Careers column at the New York Times online talks about getting comfortable with self-promotion, something we all need to do these days. Read the column here.

Last week, my friend Gretchen over at the Happiness-Project, wrote about reframing. That post helped me to figure out that my biggest problem with being called a good self-promoter was the language. I know I’m good at self-promotion. Just not sure I like those words. It’s a lot like how I feel about networking — essential skill, bad image.

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