Dec 12, 2008

Who's Hiring?? The Bright Spots.

Check out these job postings compiled by Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research for Social Computing. Owyang maintains a must-read blog on Web Strategies for anyone responsible for marketing campaigns online, building or belonging to online communities, or managing online communications or corporate images.

This list ought to give you a clue where 2008's job growth has been: social media, web strategies and other online community management.

Here's an example:

You might not have heard about this, but apparently the real estate market has been in a little trouble this past year (*mild sarcasm*), but the National Association of Realtors is hiring--if you've got the skills to be their Manager of Social Media!

So, what kind of jobs are these--besides growing ones? Well here's the future that awaits you if you applied for the Realtors' Assoc position:

• Monitor real estate industry and related social media
• Facilitate NAR’s participation in external blogs and social media
• Maintain, evolve, and enforce NAR’s social media policies and guidelines
• Train NAR staff and elected leaders about how to write for blogs and other forms of social media
• Monitor existing NAR blogs and create new ones as needed to foster conversations about relevant topics or issues
• Measure the effectiveness of NAR’s social media efforts

So if you're in the job market, think you may soon be in the job market, or want to be indispensible at your current job, invest in new skills like these. And keep in mind, that there's always opportunity, even in the places you'd last think to look! (Like real estate.)

And thank you Jeremiah Owyang for advancing these job opportunities and being a source of good news!

2008: A year to burn?

A few years ago I had a pretty bad year, in fact all around it was the worst 12 months of my life. Several of my friends also had the same luck and just wanted the year to be over with. Come New Years Eve we were all ready to welcome the new year with open arms. However, we felt we first needed to get rid of all the bad karma that the last 12 months had brought before the clock struck Midnight, we passed calendars around and each took our worst month of that year and burned it in a bonfire. (Personally I took as many months as I could get my hands on - burning that calendar so immensely therapeutic that night). I think for all of us the act of getting rid of all the bad so there's room to welcome the new and positive year ahead felt amazing! Since then I haven't needed to burn anything else, instead I've been focusing on the positive and each year is getting better and better.

For many 2008 may be a year that should just go up in flames - whether it's a job lost, a company closed or anything else this economy has delt you over the last year I hope however you choose to get rid of the bad and welcome the good works for you!

P.S. Maybe positive thinking is the key? If you haven't seen it yet, Oprah took positive thinking to another level when she created a vision board last February which she used to envision Barak Obama as president!

Dec 10, 2008

Ford in better shape than GM or Chrysler thanks to CEO

Here's what USA Today had to say about Ford and its CEO Alan Mulally in a profile published today on the one U.S. automaker not in need of a government handout. Business ain't exactly great, but at least this leader was a pragmatist and did what corporate leaders are supposed to do.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, an associate dean at the Yale School of Management, says Mulally's ability to move quickly and not let ego get in the way have helped the company achieve much more than many expected.

"He has surprised an awful lot of people," Sonnenfeld says. "He's had the courage to say he's largely accelerating a given plan, and he's fortified the top lieutenants around him. He's done a great job working with people who know what he doesn't know about the industry."

Mulally has said his strategy since he left running Boeing to take over Ford two years ago was to speed up the three-step line of attack the company had in place: cut production to match demand; make cars people want; and focus on core brands.

It's not complicated, but it has meant breaking with old Detroit ways of doing things, selling brands people admired and laying off tens of thousands.

Plus, he made one key decision three months into his tenure that set up Ford's cash cushion today. In December 2006, Mulally decided to mortgage all of Ford's assets — plants, buildings, real estate, patents and trademarks, including the Blue Oval — for $23.4 billion in cash. ...

... Until recently, the Detroit automakers often made more money in a quarter from their banking operations than from making cars.

Under Ford's plan, revenue won't look as rosy as in the past because demand-driven production totals will be lower. But if that means cars can be sold without costly sales incentives, profits should improve.

"This is a completely new business plan, where we take the hurt," Mulally says. "We are going to be the leader in sizing our operations to the real demand out there. And we'll keep doing it. … No matter when (the market) comes back, no matter what the industry is, we've sized our operations to the real demand."

If a Stock Index Falls without Media Coverage Does Anybody Hear?

Like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, it's a question worth asking. And this is the blog that's brave enough to ask it!

Is it really helpful to those of us in the corporate trenches to partake in this obsessive obsession the media is feeding? Isn't optimism a necessary prelude to economic recovery? OK, so let's get on with it! Are you in?!?!

If so, subscribe, comment, contribute! And let's share our success stories, celebrate the entrepreneurs who are bucking the trend, and give ourselves a break from the negative media drumbeat that's beating us down!