Monday, January 31, 2011

Reputation control

Control Your Reputation Online

We know that whatever we do online, we leave traces. Some of those may be quite innocent, others might dampen your reputation, particularly if you hold a senior position with lots of publicity.We talked about such tools as Sucicide Machine a few months ago (, and those are instances when it's up to you what appears on the web regarding your persona. Today's blog is about tracking other people's activity, if they mention anything able to affect your public image.
There are many free internet tool helping you to measure your activities in forums, blogs and social netwroks. Below are just a few of those. All of these will help you find out if you have been "naughty" or "nice" online and map out the strategy to rectify or reinforce what you have been doing:

  • Google Alerts. After registering, you'll be getting an e-mail every time there is a comment published mentioning your name or brand.
  • Twilert. The Twitter alert search will help you know instantly what is being said about your brand or whatever topics you might be interested in that network.
  • Google Real Time and Social Mention. These two search engines have the advantage of providing you with real time information and are designed to filter the contents, which is published in social networks.
  • Brandfo. It is the free service that monitors and provides information about what is being said about your brand or company, on the Net.
  • ReputacionXL. Functions like Google Alerts: sends information to your e-mail.
  • Whostalkin and SamePoint, Backtype and HowSociable. Four webservices specializing in searching for conversations about topics and brands in blogs and social networks.
  • Xopie. It is another opinion search engine, but in this case those are delivered to you via a feeds reader (RSS).

Friday, January 28, 2011

10 Things You Need To Know About Social Media for Your Job Search

10 Things You Need To Know About Social Media for Your Job Search
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We've all heard the horror stories about workers losing jobs or candidates being passed over for interview because of something they did on a social networking site. But did you know that many companies are actively recruiting via social media?

With that being the case, wouldn't it be nice to know what it is that recruiters are looking for when they check out your profile. Or even to know which sites they're visiting, and what advice they have for candidates on maintaining their profiles?

In the summer of 2010, Vault asked thousands of job seekers and recruiters about their experiences with social media. The results—from over 3,500 candidates and 150 companies—provide answers to many of the questions about using social media to further your career success.

To see this great piece of research (and it´s really cool!!!), 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What blogs do you follow?

I reread the Where Is Your Blog? article by our IT guru José Esteves, and got amazed of how much there is now out there created by people who write and don´t even expect that what they write will be read by anyone. Yet, there is a special category of people who blog for a reason - executives. I am borrowing José´s list of top executive blogs

Bob Lutz, General Motors
While Lutz is trying to promote GM’s product development in its best light, there’s room for discussion and debate. For example, one post in August 2008 generated more than 100 responses.

Chris Mercer
For a blog that focuses on money matters, this does an excellent job of communicating ideas. Mercer is also excellent at recommending books of note.

Jeff Pulver
Pulver is someone whose business deals with Internet communications. He excels at the use of photos and videos.

Steve Goldstein, Alacra
Goldstein’s company “provides a variety of information services to financial institutions and professional service firms”. His blog is loaded with information, but it is displayed in an easy-to-read fashion.

Peter Caputa, Whizpark
This is a good example of a blog that has no frills, just basic communication about the ideas shaping the IT profession. My Top 10 Business Executive Blogs

Ross Mayfield, Socialtext
A great example of a different approach to discussing IT issues. Mayfield lays out a compelling page that is hard not to read because of its typographical power.

Tim Dyson, Next Fifteen
Dyson leads a company that connects 800 marketing and PR consultants worldwide. In regular postings, he muses on current issues in short strokes that invite a strong following.

Craig Newmark, Craigslist
Newmark is the founder of Craigslist. He uses this blog to speak as much as a world citizen as business pioneer. He really isn’t afraid to be personal, such as offering his view of television personalities. Warm and funny, this makes Newmark seem as human as can be.

Karen Christensen, Berkshire Publishing
Christensen’s interests range from her home base of Massachusetts to business activities she sponsors in China. The website keeps track of her across the globe.

Brian Carroll, intouch
Carroll is in the sales field; and, if you can’t sell yourself first, what can you sell? A site that tells you what he is doing and thinking – and where he is going.

What can be added to this? Only a comment that there are not many executives talking about people issues. HR Blogs are numerous, but is there the one? Maybe it´s time to make an effort :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Future of the Planet in the Hands of MBAs

As ambitious as it might sound, there is never smoke without fire. Or vice versa. Both statements are true and both need to be considered. Irrespective of the amount of dirt poured over business education over the past few years (particularly in the light of the recent economic crisis - are we there yet?), MBA salaries are picking up, according to the the newly published 2011 MBA salary survey by Global Workplace and there is more and more demand for "freshly-backed" business school graduates. The hungriest regions are, as expected, India and China, followed by Russia and LatAm. In Western Europe and the USA the salaries and demand for MBAs are still lagging.

At the same time, the prestige of business education is crawling up again, as can be seen from various scientific publications and research as the one I am quoting below. An interesting read...

Source: Academy of Management Learning & Education; Sep2010, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p429-441, 13p, 3 Charts

Several critics contend that MBA education is irrelevant to practicing managers (e.g., Mintzberg, 2004), while others suggest it creates a profits-first mentality without regard for moral considerations (e.g., Ghoshal, 2005). Based on these criticisms, we explore the implications for CEOs with an MBA degree—specifically, if and how their MBA education might influence their firms' corporate environmental performance (CEP). Extant literature provides conflicting arguments; therefore, we empirically tested the relationship using a sample of 416 S&P 500 CEOs and found a significant positive association between CEOs with MBAs and CEP, even after accounting for several firm- and individual-level characteristics. In addition, post-hoc analysis revealed that the MBA program ranking had no effect on CEP.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leadership, Power and Influence

When I signed up for the Leadership, Power and Influence elective course with Fernando Bartolomé, I knew that there were legends around the professor and his teaching style. Thus, I considered myself warned. The first 10 minutes of the class proved (once again in my life) that no matter how far you can go in your assumptions, life can take you even further.

It must be a legal requirement to have this sign on some of the business school courses!
The first exercise was about the reasons why we had chosen the course, or at least I thought that it was the real purpose of the exercise. In fact, it was about showing us who is the boss in the classroom, that we are arrogant and worthless MBA students and that real power at times has little to do with reason. The course expectations have been correctted on the fly and in a very efficient manner. Hence, Learning 1:

authority works: democracy is a very ineffective way of management and it slows business down.
Progressing onto the next stage, and that being the case analysis, we examined all the things that we won´t be - we will not be CEOs or even VPs on our leaving the IE Business School, no matter how much other professors are trying to convince us of the opposite. Power is in the eye of a subordinate: you always depend on the perceptions of others. Unless you are ready to play the power games, stay out of them. The professor brought home the idea that I am not a God-sent gift to any particular company, but still I might be of some use if handled properly. Hence, Learning 2:
first learn to be a subordinate, and then a leader.
Finally, we leant a lesson of naïvety. Me and some of my most distinguished classmate were having really hard time figuring out how to deal with seemingly easy situations when you need to approach a high level executive. Our heads are full of learned hypotheses of how to run a business because we have analyzed so many cases, that we think we know it all. The hard truth is that every time we will have to learn it over and over again, and not the pleasant way. Hence, Learning 3:
get real!
Gosh! I expect a lot from this course!!! The professor said that he is unable to change us. I think that was a toungue-in-cheek remark, because otherwise he would not be teaching, would he?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Why are CEOs distrustful of social networks?

I´ve noticed that recently quite a large number of my social contacts have drastically reduced their virtual presence in Facebook. Some have declared of that publically, posting an update such as:

Going on a FB diet. You are welcome to contact me on my mobile phone.
Dear friends, I am taking a break from facebook for a while, in the meantime stay well.

... while others merely disappered quetly like a trace of fire smoke in an autumn sky.

Does it have to deal with the Social Network, the movie? Or the increased number of cases when people have really suffered because of their online activity, particularly with regards to their employment and relationships with colleagues and superiors. I recall a blog conversation of a lady who was complaining of the comments her boss was posting on Twitter!

At the same time, there is evidence that people are less willing to be active on social networks are they grow through the ranks. The CEOs of top U.S. companies tend to avoid social media, according to a study by

The study found that most of the 2009 Fortune top-100 CEOs were markedly absent from the social media community, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia. The study specifically revealed that:

* Only two CEOs had Facebook accounts, and 81% lacked a personal Facebook.
* Only 13 CEOs had profiles on the professional networking site Linkedln.
* Three-quarters of the CEOs have a Wikipedia entry, but nearly a third of those had limited or outdated information.
* Not one Fortune 100 CEO had a blog.

Small wonder that nowadays most Twitter or Facebook accounts for senior managers are being handled by their assistants. Social networks are becoming less personal and more "social" (or should I say "promotional"?) the more senior someone is.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Where are Spanish companies heading?

Today I have seriously started exploring the job opportunities with Spanish companies. I have met with one of the headhunters on the local market, and his greatest sentiment is that Spanish people are not interested in leaving the country and go work overseas. This is all flattering news for me, of course, as I am as internationally mobile and flexible as ever, but not for the Spanish economy. As far as I understand, it is not a matter of educaiton or training. Well, partially, it is, but there are many Spaniards who speak good English and hence theoretically can do business living in other countries - it is Spain that they are so unwilling to leave.

I faced this problem once, trying to get people from Cape Town to move for work to Johannesburg or Durban in South Africa. There is something that the Table Mountain does to them that they become virtually untransferrable, and even if you manage to convince them to leave their beloved domicile close to the ocean (at a premium, make no mistake about it!), they will find a way to get back there in a couple of years.

Researching the topic, I have found this article published a few years ago, but it still holds true for many Spaniards:

Where Are Spanish Companies Headed?

Nowadays, Spanish companies like Zara (Inditex), Telefónica and Santander do not need any letters of introduction. It wasn’t always that way. Over the last decade, Spain has gone from being a net recipient of foreign investment to a country that has growing significance as an investor in foreign markets. Indeed, Spain has become the eighth-ranked investor in the world, behind only the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Over the past two years, Spain has overtaken Canada and Japan. The Circulo de Empresarios (Businessmen’s Circle) in Spain joined with the Wharton School to take the pulse of the Spanish enterprise in the global environment. The two organizations recently published the annual 2007 edition of “The Globalization of the Spanish Corporation.”
The report also provides results of a new survey about the most outstanding foreign investments made by Spanish companies in 2006. The award winners were Acciona’s investment in Australia, where it is constructing the Waubra wind power park; Ebro Puleva’s acquisition of the Minute Rice chain; the acquisition by Ferrovial of BAA, the British airport management firm; the arrival of Santander in the U.S., where it acquired Sovereign Bank; and Telefonica’s purchase of O2, the British cellular operator.
Universia-Knowledge@Wharton spoke with the report’s author, Mauro F. Guillén, a management professor and the director of the Lauder Institute at Wharton, and Belén Romana García, who heads the Circulo’s economics department. The goal was to explore the achievements and challenges presented by globalization in the past, present and future.
Universia-Knowledge@Wharton: What factors were responsible for transforming Spain from a net recipient of foreign investment into a country that has growing influence abroad?
Belén Romana: It is a logical consequence of the fact that Spain has undergone an almost unforeseeable economic and social transformation that has had enormous significance. In the realm of economics, the most important thing was the opening of foreign markets: The entry into the European Community (1986), the establishment of a single [European] market (1993) and the adoption of the euro (1999). All this led to a change in the country’s economic structure by quickly introducing a large dose of competition into Spanish markets. This process permitted Spanish companies to make experiments at home before going abroad. [This happened, for example,] in the financial sector … and also in the infrastructure sector. Over the years, Spanish companies have learned how to compete for managing, financing and constructing infrastructure projects. All of the changes in the Spanish economy are associated with opening its economy to the world. We Spaniards do not improve ourselves simply on our own. Instead, we are compelled to open ourselves to risks that come from outside Spain. And when we do that, the Spanish economy has a great capacity to react.
UK@W: What role has Latin America played in that change?
Belén Romana: Latin America has been a second testing ground. Spanish companies learned [their lessons] at home; Spain is a country which had undergone political and economic changes. But in Latin American countries, which have a similar culture and the same language [as Spain], those companies immediately began to undergo exactly the same processes of political as well as economic change as a result of the privatization process. They also promoted democratization and a market economy. Those Spanish companies that go to Latin America are quite capable of developing themselves because the environment there is quite similar to their own.
Mauro Guillén: The sequence of events is very important. First, there was competition in the Spanish market. Before that happened, Spanish companies could not jump into the European market for two reasons: their [small] scale of operations and the fact that Europe was very protectionist in every sector -- and continues to be so. Latin America was an opportunity that presented itself at the right moment because there were two completely separate and distinct processes, and they enabled companies to acquire experience and scale. Latin America was the last resort, the only hope …. Nowadays, we see the greater scale of operations, thanks to Latin America, and it enables Spanish companies to make acquisitions in Europe and the U.S.
UK@W: According to the report, in 1997, 50% of Spain’s foreign investments were in Latin America. In 2006, that figure was only 4%. Which regions are currently the targets of Spanish investment, and why?
Belén Romana: Nowadays, Spain’s outward investments are basically directed toward Europe; in 2006 the United Kingdom took in 56% of the total [value of Foreign Direct Investment from Spain]. The United States came next with 10.5% and Southeast Asia was somewhat lower. Spanish companies have tried to take advantage of the modest deregulation that has occurred in Western Europe. The United Kingdom is the European country that has taken market deregulation most seriously. When Spanish companies try to enter other European countries, they do it where they can. In Italy, for example, their attempts have failed to some extent.
Mauro Guillén: It should be emphasized that Spain’s four most important foreign operations took place in the United Kingdom -- Santander’s takeover of Abbey, which opened the doors; Telefónica’s takeover bid for O2; Ferrovial’s deal with BAA; and Iberdrola’s deal with Scottish Power, the utility, in 2007. In Europe, it might have been simpler to make acquisitions within the euro zone but it turned out to be much easier in the U.K. because of regulatory factors and issues of competitiveness.
UK@W: Is Spain missing the boat in the competition against the faster-growing BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China?
Belén Romana: There is the case of Brazil and then there are the others. In Brazil, Spanish companies do have a presence. However, Brazilians are also beginning to go abroad and, in some cases, they’re going to Spain. In Russia, there has been an effort but only with rare success. In China and India, Spanish companies face very complex challenges. I believe that you pay a high price for having a [strong] cultural tradition. All of the countries that have had colonies in Southeast Asia know how to operate in that region because they have had a presence there for 100 years. But the Spanish have not. In addition, there are some negative factors; it [Southeast Asia] is a part of the world whose culture is very foreign; that acts as a very clear constraint.
Mauro Guillén: Large Spanish companies have a presence in Brazil, such as Santander, Mapfre (insurance), Telefónica and some small companies that supply auto components and machinery. In China, smaller companies also have a presence. However, Spanish companies still have much ground to make up in the BRIC bloc, except for in Brazil. Moreover, these companies usually don’t have the managers they need in order to carry out the expansion process.
Something interesting is happening in China, although it has yet to bear fruit. When it comes to infrastructure development, the Chinese are interested in Spain’s role in Latin America. That’s because China depends on Latin America for its raw materials. Take, for example, the case of Telefónica, which purchased a minority interest in Netcom, China’s second-largest phone company. In return, the Chinese got their own board member in Telefónica Internacional S.A. in 2005. That deal was motivated by China’s desire to have an influence on infrastructure decisions in Latin America.
UK@W: In your latest report, you note that Spanish companies have yet to project themselves fully onto the global scene, even those companies that have high visibility and a strong image in the global financial press. How has the image of Spanish companies evolved in such influential publications as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, and the Economist?
Mauro Guillén: A decade ago, they had very little visibility, which reflected the small size of the Spanish economy. Over the last 10 years, their image has grown considerably. In 2006, more than 3% of all the articles in those four publications mentioned at least one Spanish company. At the time, the Spanish GDP supplied something less than 2% [of the world economy’s GDP]. That means that we are over-represented. That’s a good thing. The companies that are mentioned a great deal are the big companies; it’s always Telefónica, Santander and so forth.
At first, when Spanish companies began to invest abroad, especially in the mid-1990s, the media couldn’t believe it. They thought that Spanish companies would “only last a short time” abroad and that they “were going to crash.” Later, confidence in Spanish companies took an upturn but that subsequently collapsed after the Brazilian crisis of 1999 and the Argentine crisis of 2001. People started to say things like, “We told you so.” Starting from that point, however, the image [of Spanish companies] has improved a great deal.
Belén Romana: In addition, there is a clear imbalance. Companies that have assets in the United Kingdom stand out from the rest. Nevertheless, [Spanish companies’] success in Latin America has helped send the message that these companies were staying for the duration. You prove that you really are a global company when you survive and when you demonstrate that what you’re doing is relevant. The press has recognized that.
UK@W: Spain’s foreign account deficit is one of the largest among developed countries. Does Spain have a competitiveness problem? In which sectors are Spanish companies most competitive on a global scale?
Belén Romana: Clearly, the fact that Spain has both a trade- and current-account deficit reflects the country’s competitiveness. Deficits cannot be attributed entirely to this, however, just as in the case of the United States. When it comes to Spain, some portion of the deficit results from its unusual position: The country trades above all with the European Union, but while Spain has been growing lately, the EU has not grown [much] for 10 years. When that sort of thing happens, you wind up buying more than you sell. That’s part of the problem. On the other hand, Spain is poorly positioned when it comes to trade because it sells to countries that are not expanding while other countries sell to faster-growing markets. We’re in a very complicated position because our trade pattern does not match up much with the trade patterns of China and India. There is very little to sell them that we produce here [in Spain].
Spain does, however, have a problem of competitiveness as a result of pricing differences. What can you sell when your prices grow continuously for a decade, and your prices wind up being no longer competitive? Traditionally, our approach to selling merchandise was based on this strength -- our labor was cheaper. Nowadays, that approach is impossible when it comes to Poland and ridiculous when it comes to China. Our trade pattern doesn’t work out for us because it is based on a factor where we are no longer the best. We have to change that pattern and, yes, that is a problem of competitiveness.
It’s quite natural that a lot of companies have noticed this change in global trade patterns and have globalized as a result. They realized that national markets defined by borders are dead nowadays and that you have to look at the world as a single market. The Spanish companies that have changed their perspective are the global companies. Many of them originated in the public sector, but others did not.
Mauro Guillén: Next, there are the midsize companies. Some of them continue to be competitive by exporting from Spain but manufacturing some kinds of products in other locations. The important thing is that there is a lot of variation; some have figured out how to respond to incentives but others have been left behind. This happens in every economy, not just in Spain. On the other hand, the headlines are always about the banks, telecom companies, utilities… There are perhaps 200 or 300 first-rank global manufacturers in Spain -- in machinery, food, optics and so forth. All of this changed because of deregulation and because opening the Spanish market to foreign companies has been a positive process, not only in those three sectors. In practically every sector, there is a Spanish company that has made progress. It’s not that there are just a handful of geniuses; these companies have created institutions and conditions that improve their competitiveness and the economy. This has enabled a very wide range of companies to move ahead. When and if they succeed ultimately depends on the dynamics of the market.
UK@W: What factors do you need to keep in mind when it’s time to make a foreign acquisition?
Belén Romana: First, you have to figure out where you can enter; which markets you can get into. Next, [you need to find out] whether you will have a competitive advantage in know-how if you decide to enter that market where you are better than your competition. Third, you have to identify what factors will help you acquire prestige, muscle, financing and global scale, and what factors will enable you to jump to the next stage.
Mauro Guillén: When you create a multinational company, you don’t become competitive right away, not in just one or two years. You have to look for new opportunities to do business and make investments that enable you to learn new things. The sequence that we were talking about is something very important -- going first into Latin America and then into Europe, and so forth. You need to have the mentality of going up the rungs of the ladder and opening one door at a time, identifying new choices to make. This is a very dynamic process, and you need to have a vision that looks ahead for five or 10 years.
UK@W: Some Spanish companies have stood out by making important acquisitions around the world. Is this a growing trend or are these just isolated cases?
Mauro Guillén: What we are seeing is just the beginning. My prediction is that Spanish companies are going to make important acquisitions in the U.S., partially as a result of the strength of the euro. Within a few years, we are also going to see the first significant acquisitions in Asia. Assuming that there is not a global recession, Spanish companies will continue to make headlines with these acquisitions. Nevertheless, there will be some Spanish companies that will also become targets, and they will be acquired. That is the case with Endesa, the electric utility that is now Italian-owned. There is also talk that Iberia [Airlines] might be acquired. There is going to be a process of give-and-take, and that isn’t a bad thing. It will be mostly European companies who come to Spain to make acquisitions.
UK@W: What challenges do Spanish companies face as a result of globalization?
Mauro Guillén: Spanish companies are going to face the same sorts of problems they have faced until now, but on a greater scale. You see that in the case of Ferrovial’s acquisition of BAA, a company that operates airports. The problem was that the deal was financed with debt and was leveraged. Secondly, the company’s prestige was at stake. BAA was a company that had a lot of problems, and it was poorly managed. If it fails now in the United Kingdom, it will be very hard for BAA to penetrate the U.S.
Belén Romana: In any globalization process, you have the problem of bringing together a distinctive market and business with another culture and another organization [that are quite different]. Some of these companies have more business activity outside Spain than they do inside it. In addition, personnel management is a very complicated issue.
Mauro Guillén: Regarding that final point, companies are very poorly prepared because programs for managing employee rotation have only recently begun to be implemented. Outside Spain, you have a pool of people who speak Chinese and Russian in Holland, Switzerland, Sweden and the U.K. Not so in Spain. The problem is that it takes decades to develop internal training programs for rotating employees in four or five countries and creating managerial cadres that have great operational skills. The big Spanish companies began to do that only four or five years ago. They haven’t had much time yet. This is the most important bottleneck that Spanish companies have, and you can’t resolve it overnight; you need to invest five to eight years.
Belén Romana: In Latin America, companies learned that they have to place a great deal of trust in local managers. After all, they are the ones who know all about the company you just bought as well as about the market and the regulators. In contrast, there is no natural reserve [of such people] in Spain. People don’t speak languages [in Spain], and they don’t have any special calling for global management. Everyone wants to live in Spain. It is a cultural problem that we will have to address.

Publish Date: Nov 14, 2007

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Employment Rules

I have been through a number of corporate policies at various companies. some of them are scarily similar to the ones below...

 New Employment Rules

We will no longer accept a doctor's certificate as proof of sickness. If you are able to get to the doctor, you are able to come into work.
Kort Kort pregnant is banned. You must first apply to your superiors and with their approval you’ll then be allowed to do pregnancy. It will only be allowed once in 10yrs and you only get 1 month maternity leave. No male shall get leave related to her wife’s pregnancy, sickness or even death (he is not a midwife, a doctor nor an undertaker).
Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider having anything removed. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment.
Each employee will receive 104 holidays per year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends or relatives. Every effort should be made to have non-employees to attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled for the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch-hour and subsequently leave one hour early, provided your share of the work is done.
This will be accepted as an excuse. However, we require at least two weeks’ notice to allow time for you to train your own replacement.
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilets. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order. For instance: All employees whose names begin with 'A' will go from 8.00 to 8.20, employees whose names begin with 'B' will go from 8.20 to 8.40 and so on. If you are unable to go at your allotted time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again. In extreme emergencies employees may swap their time with a co-worker. Both workers' supervisors must approve this exchange in writing.
In addition, there is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the toilets. At the end of 3 minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper will retract, and the door will open.
Skinny people get an hour for lunch as they need to eat more so they can look healthy, normal size people get 30 minutes for lunch to maintain their average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch because that's all the time needed to drink a Slimfast and take a diet pill.
It is advised that you must come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing designer clothing we will assume that you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a pay rise. 

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternations or input should be directed elsewhere.

Have a nice day

Human Resources

PS – please charge the time spent reading this email to ANNUAL LEAVE.  


Monday, January 17, 2011

Have you ever been fired with an e-mail?

It's now common knowledge that Facebook users like to end (begin) their relationships online with changing their status to single (in a relationship/it's complicated/married). If you don't do anything on a social network nowadays, it sort of does not exit. 40% of Facebook users update their status to show to their loved/hated ones that they have plans and 25% found out that they are no longer in a relationship through this appropriate invention of Mr Zuckerberg. Obsession with the modern ways of relaying bad news brought about a host of online resources, intending to help people break up with objects of their affection by means other than the old good face-to-face scandal. Check out this one: e-mail, SMS, even YouTube and many other manners to communicate the inevitable:

A word of caution: these tricks work both ways...

Now back to work. I have seen many examples when the outcomes of performance appraisal or succession planning decisions have been communicated to the employees via phone (acceptable), e-mail (raising eyebrows) and even an SMS (funny and then sad).

The question of the month: has anyone been let go by an electronic message or a text? 

Comments are welcome and the author of the best horror story will get the prize of public appreciation... Thanks!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Celebrate the job you have

Cannot but share this message I received from a friend today

Celebrate the job you haveThe year has barely just begun and already many people are probably feeling depressed about their current job. This is probably because you carried all the stress and regret from the previous year into the new one. The festive season allowed you to relax and forget about it all but now its back to reality. But instead of moping around all day why don’t you do something?

With the current economic recession many of us are feeling the financial crunch and think finding a better job is the best thing especially considering that you might hate your current one. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and finding another job won’t be easy during this time. People are being retrenched or put off left right and centre because many businesses are making huge losses. So instead of looking for greener pastures why not make the most of the job you already have?

Build Relationships: Considering that you spend at least eight hours with your colleagues it might be a good idea to build better friendships. Yes they might sometimes be a pain but if you have someone to talk to at work it will make your time there much more pleasurable. If you aren’t friendly at work people won’t have a problem back stabbing you, something that often happens at the work place.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: A lot of people feel they aren’t getting paid enough for what they do or are remunerated properly for what their skills are worth. Be grateful that you even have the opportunity to earn a living because many people have to beg and borrow to support their families. If you think you are worth more than what you are getting, go the extra mile and give 110 % to show your employer that that if they lost you there would be a big gap in the company. This might encourage them to increase your salary and appreciate you much more. Hard work pays off.

You’re up to date: Most employers give their employees training and other skills to improve their performance. In most cases you don’t pay for this training because it is for the company’s benefit. When new technology comes along you learn new things that some people might only get to try in a few months.

Be Passionate: Don’t do things in an “I hate my job” attitude. This is what could be holding you back from finding out where you fit in the company. If you are passionate in what you do you will always give your best and appreciate the end result. Slap dash work is obvious and it is probably the thing that will end up getting you fired.

Assess your skills: Whenever you feel down and worthless remind yourself of all the skills you have. Think about how the skills or service you provide, helps get to the end product. This will give you some sort of satisfaction.

Go Back to the Beginning: Ask yourself why you took the job in the first place. This might help renew your determination to do what needs to be done. If you saw yourself further up in the ladder than where you are set goals to get the position in the company you want. The closer you get the more drive you will have every morning when you get to work.

Change your Attitude: Instead of waking up in the morning sad and depressed and going to work with the same attitude try a different approach. Look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you will have a great day at work. It’s all to do with the laws of attraction. If you say and do positive things then you will attract that positive energy into your life.

There is no such thing as the perfect job. It’s the passion you have for that job and the way that you commit yourself is what sets you apart from the miserable faces you probably see every day.


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