Monday, November 18, 2013

Always Take Interviews

I have a rule that if someone asks me about an interesting job, or I’m looking for a new position, I take an interview. It does have to fit into my life, but I try to make time and go on interviews, especially phone interviews.

First, it’s good practice. You get the chance to get asked questions, and then you must come up with answers under some pressure. Even if you don’t want to job, most of us feel some pressure to do well in an interview. These are good skills to keep sharp.

Second, you never know when the job might appeal to you. The best time to find a new job is when you have a job. I’ve learned things in interviews and about companies that made them look at me differently. I’ve never been offered huge salary increases from random jobs, but I know people that have.

Third, you can practice interviewing the company. Many people struggle with asking tough questions or negotiating. Taking interviews gives you a chance to put some pressure on the company to convince you to work for them.

I always take interviews if they don’t severely impact my schedule.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Keep in Touch–Networking

I think networking is great for your career.  It’s easy, and it can be rewarding.

However like any relationship, it needs care and feeding. It’s a bit of work.

If you meet someone new, and you make a good connection, keep in touch. Drop a note after you return from an event, or periodically just send a “how are you note.” If you see the person at another event, at least say hi if you can’t have more of a conversation.

The reinforcement can really grow and strengthen the relationship.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Branding at SQL Saturday #265

I’ll be speaking at SQL Saturday #265 in Portland, OR next week and one of my talks is the branding talk. If you’re in the area, feel free to register and come for the day, or just my talk.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meet 3 People

At every event you attend, you should think about meeting 3 new people.

It’s easy, and it’s not that time consuming. You don’t need to make 3 friends, or create new work, but say hi to a few people, ask them a few questions, and if you are interested in talking to them more about 5 minute, exchange contact information.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Starting to Blog

How do you start blogging? Here’s some advice:

Open Word, Google Docs, Live Writer, or some tool where you can save your notes. Evernote actually works great and is cross platform.

Mark the date and start writing about something you did this week. It can be a new solution or a description of the way you've done something for years. Take 15 minutes at a time, a couple times a week. Get a page written that explains a solution or technique.

Repeat this 9 times. When you get done, you'll have some idea on how you can produce information on what you do. Schedule these out on a blog and keep going.

As you write, get feedback from your friends on the writing, the topic, the clarity and completeness of the explanation.

Start chronicling your technical work and you might be surprised who follows along.