Archive for the ‘Job search’ Category

I received several questions following my presentation on Blogging today at the Cincinnati Job Search Focus Group. Here’s some more information:

What presentation software did you use?

Neat, huh? That was created at the Prezi.com site. This is a web-based software application that is definitely not PowerPoint. Where PP is linear and ultimately text-based (with some graphics and bells and whistles), Prezi.com aims to be intuitive and graphically-based. It is usually created on-line, and can be run either on-line (not recommended in critical situations in case connectivity is lost), or as a downloadable Flash animation, which is what I used.

Because I work part-time for Miami University, I was able to get a free educational account with 500 Mb of server space, and I’ve hardly used any of it. Other free accounts are possible. There is a paid version which allows you to do content creation on a local machine, but I haven’t tried that.

Prezi would have you believe that you can get going in just a few minutes, but that hasn’t been my experience. I spent a LOT of time creating this, far more than a Keynote or PowerPoint would have taken. With time I’m sure I can work faster, but I’m not there yet. I doubt if I will use it for run-of-the-mill presentations.

There are definitely some drawbacks. The backgrounds and font styles are limited to those that Prezi offers, and there are not many. Some things that are easy in PowerPoint really can’t be done well in Prezi. They’d probably say that such things, such as lists, shouldn’t be done at all.

I learned about Prezi from Dean Carine Feyten of the Miami U. School of Education, Health & Society, where I’m doing some work. Check it out.

Is the presentation available on-line?

Yes, but not for download. Go to http://prezi.com/o4l-3l2hlplu. In case of utter failure at JSFG, I also created a backup version in PowerPoint that has much of the same material, so you could compare the differences if you really have time on your hands.

What are the URLs for the websites you showed?

Here they are:

See more of my presentations (including earlier versions of this one) on my Presentations Page.

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Still another (let’s hope final) update: the revised PowerPoint of this presentation is now online.

I’m presenting Part Two of a blogging workshop Thursday, May 13th, 10 am at Cincinnati’s Return to Work Center. It’s based in large part on my experiences with this blog and another I maintain and sometimes contribute to. It’s aimed at newbies and those contemplating starting a blog. The focus of part one was on starting a blog; this one will look at what should go in it.

Thanks to Lisa Slutsky and the helpful gang at the Return to Work Center for asking me back.

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MacSE from Wikimedia Commons

This morning I presented the blogging workshop I wrote about in a previous post. Amazingly, not one of the folks who showed up at Cincinnati’s Return to Work Center were blogging right now, but several of them seemed eager to try (possibly today!). So I definitely hit the target audience.

I had several requests to make available the PowerPoint from the session. It’s a little more information-oriented than some presentations I’ve done, so it’s probably a good candidate. Not every presentation makes sense without commentary, but I guess this one does. There’s no audio — I guess you had to be there.

I’m also trying to post this on my LinkedIn profile via SlideShare. SlideShare tells me the presentation exists, but I’m not seeing it in my profile. Hmmm.

Like all my presentations, I created this in Keynote on a Mac. But I don’t have a fast laptop these days, and because of concerns that the room might be set up only for PCs, I made up a PowerPoint version which is pretty close. That’s what’s linked here.

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A blog can lead to bigger and better things.
–Personal Branding guru Dan Schawbel

I‘m presenting a blogging workshop Wednesday, April 14th, 10 am at Cincinnati’s Return to Work Center. It’s based in large part on my experiences with this blog and another I maintain and sometimes contribute to. It’s aimed at newbies and those contemplating starting a blog. The focus will be on blogging as a component of your personal brand, with an eye to job seekers.

I’d love to hear from bloggers who can share experiences; specifically:

  1. What motivated you to start a blog?
  2. Was it more or less difficult than you expected? Why?
  3. Has it made a positive difference in your job search? (examples would be great.)

You can use the Comment section below to write or post a link. Thanks.

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From T.H. White’s The Once and Future King: The young Wart, of mysterious parentage, confronts the fact that his foster brother Kay will become a knight and (so he believes) he, Wart, will never be one:

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn — pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theo-criticism and geography and history and economics — why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.”

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MacSE from Wikimedia Commons

From the Associated Press:

Bill Warren founded an early online job board in the 1990s, helped kick-start an industry and was president of Monster.com, one of the leading Internet career sites. But these days he’s not very happy with the results.

So he’s taking another crack at it . . .

Here’s the link.

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Adapted from our annual Christmas letter:

Last night we celebrated our daughter Mary’s birthday. It was a surprise party organized by some of her friends. Unfortunately, a birthday near Christmas sometimes can get lost in the shuffle — but not this one. A good way to approach the end of the year.

Okay, so it wasn’t the best year we’ve seen. The bad news is that a tree fell on our house in April. Oh, wait, that was the good news.

Actually, “a tree fell on our house” is a pretty good metaphor for the year. Miami University decided to end local operation of WMUB, and the last day for the staff was June 30th. Cleve will teach a couple of courses at Miami-Hamilton starting in January, and has also been working on some research and writing projects (yes, Virginia, there really is a ‘theCallisongroup.com’). Despite this teensy setback, Jenny and Cleve made it to their annual outing with friends in Pisgah National Forest.

Jenny has had an interesting year. Miami’s Farmer School of Business moved into its new headquarters, a LEED-certified building that’s really spectacular. There’s been much to do all year, especially this fall. She’s active in the Wyoming JWC (“Any club that invites me and has ‘Junior’ in the title,” she notes, “is a good club.”) She’s also continuing to write for the Cincinnati Enquirer, concentrating mostly on stories about home remodelings and makeovers. We don’t recommend having a tree fall on your house to jump-start this process.

It’s been a year of transition for Mary. After graduating from Miami last December, she worked here in Cincinnati in a variety of jobs. She worked at a bar/restaurant at the top of Mt. Adams (great city views), worked for the Census in Ohio and West Virginia, and for an upscale lifestyle store. But the big news is that she’ll start graduate school in business in Texas beginning in January, right after her birthday.

John is a ‘first-year senior’ at the University of South Carolina. He’ll graduate next December, thus giving Steve Spurrier one more year to get the football team up to speed; in the meantime, he’s busy with his singing. He had his Junior Recital in February and was in Our Town (the Ned Rorem opera) in the spring. He had the lead in the East Side Players’ summer production of Bye Bye Birdie. And this fall he had the male lead in the USC production of The Light in the Piazza.

In times like these, the support of family and friends is even more precious. May your carbon footprint be reduced in 2010!

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I promise this will be my last post about Johnny Mercer — for a while, anyway. The opening lines of his Oscar-winning “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” offer a nostalgic portrait of steam train whistles:

Do you hear that whistle down the line?
I figure that it’s Engine Number 49.
She’s the only one that’ll sound that way
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.

He’s right that the sound of a steam whistle was distinctive — but that distinction didn’t depend on the engine. It varied depending on a number of things — steam pressure, ambient temperature and pressure, speed, humidity, and certainly not least, the engineer’s manipulations. Whistles were so much a part of the engineer’s “signature” that senior ones were allowed to take them home and use them only on their runs. So people near the lines knew from the sound, not which engine was coming, but which engineer.

I learned this from a historian I interviewed at WLRH when I did a documentary on steam trains. The switch to diesel meant many things, not least of which was a loss of job skills and status for engineers. A good steam engineer had to know just the right combination of steam, grade, train weight and a host of other things to move the train forward properly. With diesel you simply clicked the throttle into one of eight forward positions. And a diesel horn was simply a compressed air blast. You couldn’t tell from listening who was at the controls. No one doubts the advantages of diesels, of course, but loss of control over how to do your work was keenly felt by engineers.

For all the romance, trains were and are huge pieces of heavy, complex machinery. And they’re dangerous. My great-grandfather Hudson worked for the railroad and was killed on duty. This was of course before the days of pensions and death benefits, so his widow became a pauper. Her children, including my grandmother Eula, were sent to orphanages.

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freecycle_logoMy friend John put me on to FreeCycle. It’s essentially an on-line “swap & shop” radio show (remember them?). If you have something you want to get rid of and don’t want the hassle of selling it, just offer it on your local FreeCycle. I joined about a month ago, specifically to see if I could locate a scanner. Last week an office about a mile from my home offered an HP scanner that works with my Mac, has OCR, and can scan slides and negatives. Perfect.

Here’s what their website says:

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,851 groups with 6,690,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free.

Here in Cincinnati there are 3 flavors, organized geographically (City, East Side, West Side), with a few thousand people in each one.

WARNING: do NOT confuse this with FreeCycle.com, which appears to be a rip-off site advertising deals which are for the most part not free.

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200px-HardTimesComeAgainNoMore1854A song popped up on my iPod’s DJ shuffle this week I hadn’t heard or thought of in a while — Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More.” Here’s a link to the James Taylor/Yo-Yo Ma/Edgar Meyer version.

Foster is often dismissed as a sentimentalizer of the old antebellum days and ways  — think “My Old Kentucky Home” — but the lyrics to “Hard Times” pack a real wallop:

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

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