Archive for December, 2008

Top Tips from Smart Company

December 23, 2008

One of my favourite websites for business related tips is Smart Company.

They have just released a free download of tips in the areas of Managing People, Cashflow, Wealth/Super, Tax, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Web 2.0, Online Tools, Sales and SEO.

Definitely worth reading for links to some of their top posts this year.

Top 10 Career Related New Year’s Resolutions

December 20, 2008

December is almost over and it’s time to look forward to the New Year. …

 Most people are giving up on what can be achieved by the end of 2008, and instead are looking forward to what they can do to make 2009 a brilliant year. New Year’s resolutions generally fall into certain categories – finance, health, family, happiness, and career.

 “You may be surprised by how much you can change about your job and your life, when you look at it in detail.
Spend some time reflecting on what you want to change in your working life over the holidays and come back ready to make that change in 2009″, says Joanna Penn, author of “How To Enjoy Your Job” which is packed with strategies, tips and inspiration to help you change your job and your life

 Here are the Top 10 Career Related New Year’s resolutions: 

1) Reduce work stress levels. People’s jobs are the single biggest cause of stress (Source: Hazard Magazine), and stress can contribute to health problems, obesity and depression as well as affecting your personal happiness. Identify what is stressing you about work, and aim to reduce or remove it from your job entirely. Life is too short to be miserable

2) Work part time or work from home 1 day per week. Technology now enables people to do a portion of their work from home. With broadband internet and phone access, you can do your admin tasks and attend phone conference meetings and avoid the commute. Productivity is greater at home as there are fewer interruptions. You can get more done in less time, and feel greater job satisfaction as well as seeing your family. Working 4 days a week may also be attractive to companies in this economic climate, if you can afford it yourself. Ask your Manager for the opportunity and demonstrate the value for them.

3) Up-skill and get a more challenging role. If you are bored in your job, the best way to get a new one is to up-skill and improve your resume. There may already be opportunities within your workplace to improve your skills, so look for those first. You can also do evening classes or a correspondence course to open up your career horizons.

4) Make more money. Finances are worrying for many in this climate so making more money in your job is a common goal. If you want to ask for a raise, demonstrate your value to the company first and explain why you deserve it. You might also look at ways you can make money outside of work – a small part time business or clearing your clutter and selling it on EBay.

5) Stop taking abuse from co-workers. Many people find work difficult because colleagues harass, abuse or just annoy them. Make 2009 the year you stand up for yourself, or report the co-worker who is making your life a misery. Make an effort to stay away from toxic work colleagues who drain your energy with gossip and negativity.

6) Find out what you really want to do with your life and career. Many people say they hate their job but they don’t know what else they would like to do. Identify what your skills are as well as what you would love to do. Ask other people what they think you are good at. Read some career related books and dream bigger than your current situation. You can have the career you want – it may just take some time to get there, but if you start now, you’ll get there sooner.

7) Improve work time management and efficiency. So much time is spent answering repetitive emails or attending meetings that don’t run to an agenda. Aim to cut down on pointless administration tasks and improve work efficiency. Work smarter, not harder.

8) Work proper hours and take leave. Somehow people have lost the idea of a 40 hour work week. Think how much time you spend commuting, working through lunch, working weekends, answering work emails at home and skipping leave for work commitments. Aim to reduce these and reclaim your time in 2009.

9) Actively plan your career path. Many people say that they just “fell into” their jobs. They didn’t plan to be in this job but somehow they ended up here. If you don’t decide what you want and plan to get there, then you will find this happening to you. Decide what you want with your career and set specific goals and time periods for this to happen. This will open your eyes to new opportunities and you will be empowered to achieve them.

10) Change jobs. Many of these goals may culminate in deciding to change your job in 2009, whether this is within your workplace, industry or starting something entirely new. Update your tired resume and brush up your interview skills, pump up your confidence and go get the job of your dreams!

For more information on How To Enjoy Your Job, or to order online in print, ebook or audio format, go to  There is also a free e-workbook that you can download and use as a tool for change. A portion of the profits from sales of the book will go to The Outward Bound Trust to fund teenagers on the OB experience, which fosters self-determination and self-confidence.

Expand your mind: Oxford University Podcasts

December 3, 2008


Mansfield College, Oxford

Mansfield College, Oxford

Many people are bored at work. They while away the hours pushing email around. Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fit the time allotted, and you have until 5pm daily. A lazy day is fine now and then but a challenge is important otherwise you will be miserable. 


You can now get lectures from some of the best Universities online for free – so take advantage of this and listen on your commute or plugged in while doing mundanity at work. 

Oxford University podcasts are on many topics: try History of Art for some culture, Interviews with philosophers for depth, Quantum Nanotechnology to blow your mind, Steve Wozniak speaks to the business school for netsavvy tech, or try listening to an English tutorial at my alma mater, Mansfield College (pictured)