Sunday, February 24, 2013

Where I Am Now

Yep, it's been a while, alright. As you can see, I took a rather extended hiatus from blogging. Finishing grad school took up most of my time in late 2010, and I needed a break from writing for a while. I stayed away much longer than I intended to, though, due to various life and career developments, and thus this year I made a resolution to start blogging again in 2013 and to post every day if I can, even if it is something short. Thus far, I've been keeping that up, with only a couple of exceptions (and even then, I make up the posts later on).

My new blogging home is here. I moved over to Tumblr because I like what that platform has to offer, though in updating this blog, I remembered why I liked Blogger too. So for now, that's where you can find me. While it is more of a random, whatever-is-on-my-mind-today type of blog than this one was, I still do cover topics related to this blog from time to time.

I plan on keeping this blog up for archival purposes, at least for the time being. I did update the sidebars to reflect that this blog is no longer being updated and removed the links since I will not be maintaining them going forward. I haven't ruled out restarting this blog someday, but it will not be in the near future.

I know this blog didn't get a ton of readers, but it had some, and I am glad you stopped by while I wrote here. I hope you check out my new place too. Thanks again for reading!

--T.M., 2/24/13

Monday, October 11, 2010

So, About That Conference Recap...

Yeah, I dropped the ball on recapping the Minnesota Blogger Conference, at least in a timely manner, to say nothing of writing about other stuff. But I still think I want to do it, and am going to try to do so by the end of the week.

That said, I have class starting in the middle of next week again, so I will be quite busy from that point on until the end of the year. But I am going to try to post here as often as I can manage, since my life can't be just working and school, after all.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hello New Visitors!

Just wanted to say hello quick to anyone visiting the blog for the first time, either because of the Minnesota Blogger Conference or for other reasons. I know this blog isn't much to look at right now, but I appreciate the visit nonetheless, and I look forward to meeting you and reading your blogs as well.

(cross-posted at Blank Fortune, my miscellaneous, whatever-is-on-my-mind blog)

Friday, September 3, 2010

A (Mostly) Good Month

I was pretty good about posting regularly for the past month or so, and I have a lot going on in the next couple of weeks, so my posting is going to be a bit more sporadic again. I want to get the Newbie's Guide underway (and think of a better name for it), and doing that is going to require more time and planning for each post than I usually put into these, so I'd rather take more time and do it right.

I'm still going to try to post at least a time or two a week, though, and will post other stuff besides the guide to break things up a bit.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Do Your Homework

It should really go without saying, but I'm always surprised by how much people don't know about the organizations that they work for (in any capacity).

I'm not talking about digging up dirt or finding out things that you don't actually have a right to know. I'm referring to current events that affect your employer, or things they've done that are in the news. Additionally, this could encompass the organization's history or initiatives and partnerships that they're currently involved with.

There are quite a few ways that you can learn these things. Most companies have internal websites where news and other information about the company is posted, in addition to what is available on their external sites. Additionally, you can search for the organization's name in Google News or another news aggregator website to find articles, pictures, and video involving the company and their activities. You can also do this to find information on competitors, the industry as a whole, and trends that may affect them. And of course, there are the social media platforms that companies are increasingly taking advantage of, like Facebook and Twitter. Odds are good that your company has some kind of presence there by now (and if not, it needs one, yesterday).

Why keep track of all this? Well, for one, it can help you do your job better. For example, I've been able to learn about flooding shutting down a facility before the official communication from the company was received. Another example are the multiple times I've found about about problems with products before official recalls were issued, allowing me and my coworkers to brace ourselves for the increased workload. But another reason is that it makes others see you as a resource and someone who knows what's what with the business, and someone who is capable of thinking strategically and using new information to good effect. It will impress those you work with and those you work for if you know what's going on.

I'm sure there are ways of learning about a company, organization, or industry that I would never even think of on my own. They don't call it the Information Age for nothing -- with more ways to learn and keep tabs on the world than ever before, there's no excuse to not be informed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Newbie's Guide Preview

I haven't finalized the topics I want to discuss in this guide just yet, and when and in what order I'll do it, but here's a list of things I want to cover at some point:

-- Contractors, temps, and freelancers: definitions
-- Why a contract gig?
-- The downsides to contract work
-- Where to find contract positions
-- Agencies: what you need to know
-- Corporate culture and contractors
-- Contract work as a lifestyle
-- Going solo: hanging out your shingle
-- Contract work as an extended interview
-- The future of contract work

Plus, whatever else I think of. And if you have any suggestions, I'm certainly open to them.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Newbie's Guide to Being a Contractor

Sorry for the delayed post again. Just when I think I'm getting better, I slip. But then, progress isn't always a straight line.

Anyway, I've decided to start writing a series for people who are new to the contractor and temp world, with tips and advice that I wish I knew when I started years ago. Even though I'm a permanent employee now, I still think I have a few words to say on the subject.

It will be recurring and I'm not sure exactly how long it will go just yet, so I'll post more details when I have a better idea. But I hope somebody out there will find it useful.