8 Things My First High School Job Taught Me

These days it seems that the high school job isn’t as popular as it was. Between an increase in after school activities and more adults working in part time positions, high school jobs don’t seem to be as much of a norm as they were.  But they still exist.  I believe that they provide a tremendous experience.  I know it did for me.

My High School Job

I was lucky enough to work for family.  I got to work at a collectibles store owned and run by my uncle and aunt.  They opened their store right when the market on figurines and such were ramping up, and developed a reputation as one of the top collectible stores in the area.

I worked a lot of evenings (after school) and weekends.  They were closed on Sunday so I always had a day off.  In a store like that you do everything from unpacking boxes to working the registers to helping people find that just right item.

Now that I look back I realize that the experience really helped me in many ways.

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Have You Observed Gender Equality During Your Career?

The recent women’s marches across the country got me thinking.  They seemed to originate from Donald Trump being inaugurated President, but were tied to a number of different issues.  One of the issues that I heard mentioned several times was ‘equal pay’.  It’s been well documented that women often receive less pay than do men for the same job.  This gap has narrowed over time but still exists.  The marches got me thinking about my personal experience in this area.  I’d like to share my personal experiences with gender equality in the workplace, and I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

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11 Ways To Have A Bad Job Interview

Looking for a job is not a fun process, at least to most.  It’s often stressful, frustrating, and can have many ups and downs.  I’m very grateful that I’ve had my for over ten years as the number of interviews I’ve had has been pretty small.  There are a lot of things you want to do to improve your chances of getting your dream job.  Additionally, there are things to avoid.  Here are some of those things you want to make sure NOT to do so that you don’t have a bad job interview.

Show Up Late

First impressions are everything, and if you’re not there on time to give your first impression, you’re in trouble.  People interviewing for a job usually have a tight schedule.  If you show up late, that is seen as very disrespectful and can be very disruptive.

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Turn Your Industry Knowledge Into A Consultancy Business

When you’ve gained a lot of experience in a particular field, you may find yourself looking at companies and thinking, They aren’t doing things the best way. Then you probably have a good laugh at your own arrogance, thinking how unlikely it is that they’ll ever ask your opinion about it.  Maybe you should stop laughing and consider turning your industry knowledge into a consultancy business.

It may not be as unlikely as you think. Many of the decisions made by businesses and government are driven by the input of consultants. These mysterious people swoop in, dig through the entity’s operations, and then provide a report on what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and how to go the right direction in the future.

Could that be you? Could you be one of those corporate mercenaries who come in and right the ship? It’s a possibility.

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Why It Pays To Be Persistent

Here’s a quick lesson on why it pays to be persistent when asking for something.

Annual Conference

Last week, I attended a project management conference here in the Detroit area.  It’s held every year, and thousands of people attend as it gives required credits that are needed to maintain professional certification. My day is  filled with various speakers and presentations that discuss knowledge and trends in the profession.  It’s not the most exciting thing in the world.  Sometimes if you pick a poor speaker, can be an outright drag, but for once per year, it’s not a bad day.

I go just about every year as it satisfies about 40% of our yearly requirements in one day.

I got my project management certification while at my current job, so I’ve only attended the conference while working for my current employer.  One thing that has always been a constant is that, while we were given the OK to attend the conference on company time, they would not pay for the conference.

It’s not that much money, about $150-200 over the years, but it was still enough of a sum that it hurt a bit when writing the check.

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How To Get Fired From A Management Position In 4 Easy Steps

As I’ve gotten more and more years of work under my belt, you learn a lot of things.  These relate to how to do your own job, but also in watching other people do their jobs.  Everybody has their own style or way of doing things, and the repercussions of this can be far and wide.  This holds even more true for those hired into management positions.

Here’s a story of one management hire that started off well but only went downhill, finishing up as an absolute calamity.

A Tough Situation To Begin With

The manager, we’ll call him Manny for the purposes of this story, was hired a little over a year ago to manage a group that was facing quite a few challenges.  The group was growing quite a bit as the focus within IT was getting more and more substantial.  The group did not have a great working relationship with many of the other groups, which was often a source of frustration.  See, with IT, when you’re working on big things, which often happen here, groups have to work together  in order to have a successful outcome. This group was very hard to engage.  Their members often didn’t show up to meetings or would make changes out of sequence or make promises that they would do something and simply not do it at the scheduled time.

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7 Work Habits That My Co-Workers Might Consider Peculiar

I really like where I work, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been working here for over nine years now. I’ve definitely settled in.  There are a number of work habits that I’ve developed that work for me.  However, I wonder how many of these my co-workers might consider peculiar.

It also crossed my mind that if they do, I really don’t care 🙂

I make my own coffee in my own coffee maker.

There are several commercial grade machines around the office, as well as some Keurig brewers, but I don’t use any of these.  I actually brought my own coffee machine, one that I had sitting in the basement at home, and brew my own coffee every day.  Why all the trouble if there are machines everywhere?  Well, it’s because the machines that they have here don’t work too mb-2015-11-coffeewell for the routine I’ve established.  See, I don’t use Keurig cups as I find them wasteful and too expensive for everyday use, but the ‘free’ coffee that they provide is coffee in only the most technical sense.  Long story short, it’s awful.  I bring in my own coffee, keep it in the freezer, and brew my own pot every day.

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Tweaking My To Do List To Improve Productivity

One of the first things that I do at work each morning is type up a to do list.  I used to write it out by hand, but now I have an Excel file that I modify each day.  It’s actually pretty nifty.

Organizing By Recurrence

I have two columns of tasks.

The left column consists of tasks that I do every day.  Things like cleaning my inbox at the beginning and end of every day, organizing my desk, and other such tasks are in this column.  You might wonder why I list tasks that I do every day, and the answer is simple: To make sure that I do them…..every day!

The column on the right is for things that I have to do that aren’t necessarily daily tasks.  These are more related to the projects that I’m working on.  I have to update project schedules, send out status reports, input service request tickets, schedule meetings, etc.  I also put an item for each meeting that I have that day.

After I’m done, I print it off and that becomes my list for the day.  As I often have things come up, just like in any job, I leave some blank areas where I can write items in.

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Working From Home

With more and more people quitting their jobs to pursue their passions as freelancers and home based entrepreneurs, the landscape of work is changing. Back in the day, you had to to have a 9-5 job – any job, especially if you were the man of the house – just to conform to society’s standards.

This often meant doing a job you hated, in an office you despised, much like what many people are still going through now. But what the heck. As long as it pays the bills and provides health benefits, all’s well that ends well. Right? Well, that pretty much sums up why 70% of Americans hate their jobs!

Shifting Gears

This has brought on a shift in the way people think. Many of them are realizing the benefits of working from home and are turning to freelancing or accepting positions as virtual employees for some of their income, while working on another side hustle to generate more money.

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Why You Should Ignore The Doomsday Stock Market Predictions

The stock market has not been pretty as of late.  All three major US indexes are in or have at some point recently dropped into correction territory, which is noted as a 10% drop.  Some stock market predictions are coming out that are driven by pure fear.

The bulls that drove the stock market to more than double over the last few years have taken a break, and the bears have been more than happy to step in and finally be right.  However, I think that there are some who are way off the mark.

Is This 2008-2009 All Over Again?

There are many out there who will happily tell you that the stock market is headed for another crash like the one that happened in 2008-2009 when the markets lost over half their value in about an 18 month period.

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