Archive for the ‘job’ Category

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Only the Middle Class Pays Taxes

August 14, 2008

I am slowly starting to realize that only the middle class pays taxes in the United States The big problem in this country is that the middle class continues to shrink and considering our countries deficit we will not be able to sustain ourselves much longer. Let me elaborate why they end up paying most of the taxes.

As fair warning some of the things being said in this article may offend quite a few people, so if you disagree feel free to comment.

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SEOBook Reviews and Updates

February 21, 2008

It is not a mystery that most of the SEO I learned was from SEOBook Review. Well Aaron Wall seems to have followed Brian Clarks idea of educating rather than selling ebooks. I think Aaron has a lot of value to add and as soon as I scrape some dough together will join his program. Do not miss out on this opportunity.

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Director 11 from Adobe Just Launched

February 19, 2008

I am a big fan of Adobe software when it comes to design and web work. Originally Director was a Macromedia product and was called Director MX. Adobe just launched Director 11 and I am pretty psyched. There will probably be more integration with their multimedia authoring and other adobe offerings. They also have listened to user feedback and focused on the 3d game design aspect of Director 11. Unfortunately right now you can only pre-order but I am excited to read people’s reviews. You can download it here.

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The 11th Hour : Reflections on the Documentary and My Life

November 16, 2007

I have lived in San Francisco for about 4 months now. Time has been flying by, and although I feel like I have done a lot since I have been here, when I reflect back on time it seems like I have only been here a week. There is a feeling of anxiousness that is building up in my body. I have become irritable to the point where it even shocks me. All the beauty I saw in this city when I first moved here has been replaced by the sight of bums and odor or urine. The other day I decided to go watch “The 11th Hour” at the Red Vic on Haight Street. It has finally put in perspective why these strange emotions have been bubbling up deep inside my soul.

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Ameriprise: secrets from a recruiter

June 10, 2007

Know what you are getting into before you go to interview. Ameriprise is nothing but a glorified pyramid scheme. They were once knows as American Express Financial Advisors, but American Express had to drop them because their practices were hurting their brand name. You can read the full post at FlipSide Invest.

“As a recruiter I literally scoured online job boards for resumes. It did not matter what the resume said all I needed was a name and a Phone Number of someone who was looking for work. Experience, background, education, none of that mattered. I also did my research and when I heard of layoffs I would jump at the opportunity knowing that these desperate souls would come in to office.

Here is the breakdown of the recruiting. I would call about 100 to 200 people a night and of those who picked up about 20% would say they would come in. Of those half actually showed up for phase one, a simple test you take on the computer to measure your core competency. Half would then go to phase two, where you were set up on a mock phone call to see how well you can sell over the phone. And half would create a marketing plan, basically you fill out a form with all your family and friends contact information (which gets used by the Ameriprise).

The career breakdown is as follows. You get promised six figures within two years based on some ridiculous statistics. Here is the secret, if you do not bring enough new clients you get fired, and those people are not counted towards the figures they use. Another ridiculous thing about Ameriprise, you have to pay out of pocket to pass the Series 6 and 7, and in some states Life and Health exams. Amerirpise only pays you back if you pass all the tests in less than six months. So there are a lot of people who waste a lot of time and money and cannot move on because they feel like they already invested so much and get trapped by Amerirpise.

The advisors get paid based on fees and most importantly commissions. The commissions are only made once the quota is met for the month. One advisor told me that some months he was making under minimum wage for the hours spent working. Imagine not making quote for the month and it’s the 3rd week already. Believe it or not sometimes the advisors get so desperate that they charge themselves for consulting fees in order to make quota for the month. ”

Here are the attributes of a successful financial advisor for Ameriprise:

  • Committing 70+ hours a week for the next 4 years
  • Being able to look an elderly person in the eyes knowing they are throwing hteir money away
  • Being able to win peoples trust through deception and fakery
  • Only priority in life is to make a lot of money for yourself

I also found this great website with a lot more about Ameriprise and great resources for alternatives AmerirpiseSuck.

If you really want to waste your time just go play an online stocks game, but don’t go to a so called expert because he took you to a free lunch.

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Why young people HATE their jobs

May 30, 2007

I came across an interesting article on MSNBC American’s hate their jobs more than ever. The emphasis was on the new generation that is entering the work force. The problem is that companies do not understand our generation because no one has outlined the reasons in concrete terms that the baby boomers who run corporations can understand. Just a note to all you baby boomers you should really take the time to watch the PBS special about young people today, although the focus isn’t just on careers there are a few snip-its worth checking out.

So here are my top 3 reasons why young people hate their jobs.

1. THE PAY- Lets face it entry level pays pretty poorly in most jobs. And the ones that do pay well usually require significant sacrifices in terms of your personal life. When you work over 60 hours a week you tend to burn out pretty quick. I don’t want to hear all that BS about how our pay or salary is reasonable, or that we are so lucky compared to past generations etc etc. The fact of the matter is that living expenses are much higher now than they have been in the past, just take a look at real housing prices for reference. Not to mention the cost of education has risen as well and the average graduate has a debt of almost $20,000 dollars. So excuse me if your 35k job reminds me of an indentured servant.

2. OFFICE POLITICS – Who’s ass do I need to kiss to get ahead around here? Let’s face it most companies, even the ones who claim to not have office politics, are full of backstabbing and lies. At least in offices where its clear you have to play the game to get ahead in the rat race, there is no illusion and the best brown nosed yes man wins. However, there are more insidious companies that create illusions of fairness. What they call fairness I call red tape. Someone who deserves to get promoted has to jump through hoops just for consideration. And then it turns into a long discussion which waste peoples times and cuts into the bottom line, result the promotion is less than you expected. Joke on the companies who do this most employees who are smart already have other offers lined up elsewhere.

 3. LACK OF FREEDOM – Call us spoiled if you will but we were raised in an environment where our life’s have been like a buffet. We pick and choose elements we like and discard ones we do not. We partake in sports and activities we enjoy and grow by doing what we love and, most importantly, what we are good at. Work on the other hand expects you to do what they want regardless of what your strengths or weaknesses are. Most career paths, especially at the junior level, are so rigid that they cannot exploit talents we all naturally posses. For example most positions that are junior expect you to be detail oriented and organized. Although these are important skills there are those of us who might either be creative or analytical and could add value in other ways. Unfortunately, until you pass “the artificial bar” set by the company you will never get to stimulate that part of your brain. We want to feel the freedom that we can explore our careers and see what we will be good at rather then feel we are being molded into a worker bee.

Some of you might disagree or think there are other reasons, but from what I have seen I feel these are the big ones. A top runner up was “lack of appreciation.” However, I believe that this is something that varies wildly by managers so it isn’t a universal truth. A simple “good job” or “thank you” can go a long way. Instead we slave for hours over details that your VP whisks away with a single pen stroke without even a mention of your contribution.

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How to ace your appraisal/review

May 22, 2007

While searching for jobs I came across a lot of articles dealing with how to prepare for an interview, however, there is a serious shortage of articles outlining how to excel in your appraisal or review. Usually, these occur yearly but sometimes more often than that.

 Here is why you should prepare ahead of time:

1) Often times your managers incentive is to give you as little increase in pay as possible.  Let’s face it the more you make the more you cut into the profit margins which are the basis of your managers compensation and bonus.

2)The company will only pay you as much as it takes to keep you from leaving.

3) You cannot forget about inflation. A merit increase of 5% may seem decent but if inflation rose 3% last year then your “real” increase is only 2%.

Just as a note, if you are a terrible employee chances are most of this will not apply to you.

 So what steps do you need to take to ensure your appraisal is maximized?

  • Write down a list of your strengths and weaknesses and think of examples of each. Remember to bring the focus towards your strengths and acknowledge steps you’ve taken to work on your weaknesses.
  • Keep the conversation framed towards your benefit, but aknowledge areas you know you can improve in. You should not let your manager talk to whole time. If you beat him to the punch, your areas for improvement, and cite examples of how you addressed those issues you will take away all firepower behind why your merit should not be higher.
  • If your manager starts talking about budgets etc. he is flat out BSing. Remember that you are a talented employee and that to train someone knew is more expensive than to give you that extra percentage point or two. Demonstrate the value you add and focus on how it outweighs the increase in pay.
  • Employers like to use threat sometimes. They are rarely overt about firing you but they may use lines like “You know our company is doing a lot of restructuring, etc.” Do not fear these lines if they want to lay you off or fire you they would have done so already. Stand your ground and explain how you are confident that you can adapt to any new challenges and business needs of your company.
  • Most importantly do not take to heart any criticism. Likewise do not let compliments get to your head, they are usually stated as a softener for things to come. Smile and hide all reactions, and if you did your introspective homework there really should not be major surprises.
  • Use threat tactics right back at your manager to show that you are not a commodity and that you have other options. Make sure to do this indirectly. For example you may say something along the lines off, ” I have XYZ ambitions and I really would like to continue exploring them within this company.” 

 If you follow these tidbits your manager will respect your more for being candid. When done correctly the manager should leave valuing you more than before you entered the discussion. This is your time to shine do not let it turn into a time for them to make you feel like this company/position is the best you can do.