New Career Directions – An Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

New Career Directions – An Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

Today on WiseWolf Talking we have the great pleasure of presenting an interview with award-winning novelist, Mariam Kobras.  Mariam is the author of the Stone Trilogy and the first book in the series, “The Distant Shore”, won the 2012 IPPY Bronze Medal for Romance and rose to No 10 on the Amazon Bestseller List.  The second book, “Under Same Sun” has just been published! 

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, where she met her husband. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and  two cats.

Mariam is the author of Under the Same Sun and the IPPY Bronze Medal winning novel The Distant Shore, which was also released by Buddhapuss Ink.

I believe Mariam’s story will inspire all who dream of writing a book and having it published successfully.

Hi Mariam.

Q1 Can you tell us a little about your life before you became a published author please?

Before the elusive book deal came through, I was working at a middle grade school in our neighborhood. I taught theater and musicals there, and supervised the detention room. It was a great job, and I loved every minute, but when school politics changed I decided to quit.

Before that, I managed an American Football team in Hamburg. That was really great, too. Learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and I got to organize the National Championship game day.

Before that, I was a housewife and mom. Oh, and head of PTA, and a member of our city council, and a lay judge at juvenile court.

And before that, I was at university and majored in American Literature. So, as you can see, my career path has taken some wild twists and turns before I decided to become a novelist.

Q2 How did you come to write the Distant Shore?

That’s easy. The idea of writing a book had been simmering for a long time. But the one thing that bugged me was the setting. I never wanted to write a book set in Germany (don’t ask; I have no idea why not. Just a gut feeling) so I had to do some traveling to see other places before I could find the right spot.

Then again, I didn’t really have an idea for an entire novel. There was this one scene that kept running around in my head, the one where Jon and Naomi meet again after their long separation. That was the one scene I wanted to write very badly. But I had to get them to that place and time, somehow. So the story of their son Joshua developed, and how he writes this letter to his father, and how Jon discovers he has a son he never knew about. The rest fell into place. Really.

Q3 Lots of people start writing, what kept you going until you had finished the novel?

Truth?

The waiting publisher. We’d been connected on Twitter for a while, chatting about puppies and coffee and cupcakes. Then one day someone posted a blog with tips on how to promote your novel on your blog. One of those tips was, “Post page 99 of your novel on your blog!”

So I took a look at my page 99 and thought, “I can do that!” and posted it. Then I tweeted the link to the blog, like I always do. Minutes later, said publisher had commented, “Well done! If you keep this up I may have to sign you!”

Now that alone is enough to make any writer’s heart beat in a fast staccato. Mine did! But they went even further and sent me a direct message on Twitter asking when they could have the entire book. I had to tell them that it needed some more work, and they replied they’d wait. Patiently.

So I got down to work. The Distant Shore needed to be finished, and it needed to be whittled down from its original 400K words to a more manageable 135K. It took me three weeks of intense writing and editing, but I got it done and sent it off.

Q4 How did you find a publisher and what is it like to work with a publisher?

I didn’t find my publisher, they found me, even though it’s still not entirely clear why they decided to follow me, of all writers out there. I mean, at that time I was not even an “aspiring” writer. All I did was fool around on Twitter and scribble a bit. But that’s really how it happened: I woke up one day to find the black cat following me: Buddhapuss Ink. I remember I kept looking at that avatar and thinking that if I ever decided to submit and wanted a publisher, I wanted it to be them. Again, no idea why. It was just a very strong gut feeling. As it turns out, my gut was right.

What’s it like to work with a publisher? It’s a lot of work. Writing a book is only the beginning. After that comes the editing process, the promoting, the launch. There’s a lot more involved than I ever knew. It’s fun! I haven’t had one bad moment working with my publisher, not a single one. I don’t have an agent, so I deal with my publisher directly, and I think that’s a blessing.

The thing that strikes me most though, that in fact was utterly bewildering at first, is that someone “up there” takes my writing seriously. That they talk to me about scenes or characters as if they really matter. And I stand there, totally embarrassed, and I’m like, “Uh, guys…I have no idea. It just, you know, felt right to write it like that?” And they nod gravely, say something like, “Gorgeous!” and pat my shoulder. And offer coffee.

Q5 What do you think helped to make the Distant Shore so successful?

I want to say, “Because it’s a brilliant book!” But of course that’s not the truth.

The thing people who read The Distant Shore say most often is that it’s lyrical, poetic, and that the descriptions are so vivid, they feel like they’re in the scene with the characters. They tell me they love my characters because they seem like “real people”, and that it’s easy to worry about them. So I’m guessing that if you can make your readers feel empathy you’ve written a good book. I hope!

With the immense number of books released every year, I believe it’s vital that, as an author, you have an internet presence, a platform, even before your first book gets published. In fact I’ve been told that publishers look for that, they want to see what you’ve done to promote yourself before they take you on. It shows them that you’re willing to do your part with the promoting.

Of course, a good network on, let’s say, Twitter and Facebook, will help you sell those copies of your first book. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth!

My publisher is very clever at marketing. And winning the award helped, too. That shiny sticker does draw buyers.

Q6 Tell us about your new book, “Under the Same Sun” please.

Under the Same Sun  is Book Two in the Stone Trilogy, the sequel to The Distant Shore.

We’ll find out if Naomi returns to Jon and how she deals with the aftermath of the shooting and her injuries. We’ll go on tour across Europe to see Jon perform, and we travel to Positano in Italy to visit Naomi’s maternal family, and see her clash with her father again. Naomi is pining for a new baby, but things aren’t going the way she wants them to. Her marriage is threatening to crumble…

It’s a book about a woman finding her own way, finding out what she wants in life, which is not always easy if there’s a lot of family pressure around you. Naomi dealt with that by hiding herself away in rural Norway for many years, but now, with Jon’s support, she realizes she does not have to give in to her father’s demands.

That’s it, I’m not going to spill any more beans! You’ll have to read it and find out yourself.

Q7 What plans do you have for Book 3 of the Stone Trilogy?

Book 3 is actually written. I submitted it to the publisher in June, and the release is scheduled for 2013. This one is close to my heart. I’ve always wanted to express my feelings about 9/11, especially after a very painful discussion with someone on Twitter a year ago. At that time, they told me that I as a European don’t have any right to have feelings about 9/11. I disagree. I think everyone has a right to feelings about that day.

Book 3 is not about 9/11, but that day is part of the story. We see it happening through the eyes of three women, none of them American, who are standing on the terrace of a Brooklyn house—removed from the site, distanced, for all it matters, as we over here in Europe were. Their feelings and reactions are what mattered to me. In addition to that, I’ve woven in the narrations of my friends who really were in lower Manhattan that day and experienced everything first hand. Of course my fictional characters tell their stories in the book. But everything that happens to them, happened to someone real.

The important thing for me was to show that day, September 11th, as a day that changed many things for so many people. It’s not the main part of the story. That is Sal’s love affair first with Maya, and then later his falling in love with Gemma. And of course, Jon and Naomi will be there, too.

The title of the book is Song of the Storm

Many things end in this book, and many things find a new beginning.

Q8 Can you tell us a little about the highs and lows of real life as a writer?

There are no lows.

I say this as I sit here, working on blog post #14 or #15 for the blog hop to celebrate the launch of Under the Same Sun. So if there’s a low it’s having to do things other than actually write books.

Just a moment ago I had this fascinating conversation on Twitter, with a German author friend, Friederike Schmöe. We were talking about success and when it is that you start feeling you’re actually an author. I said, probably not until I have at least twenty books published. Two books, what I have now, don’t feel like a big achievement. And Friederike replied that in her experience satisfaction comes for a writer while we are writing, not from seeing a published book on a bookstore shelf.

And she’s right. The real satisfaction comes with the creative process, with the writing.  Once the book is published it becomes totally uninteresting for the writer. The empty page is calling! Let’s write another one!

Q9 For those of us who would like to follow in your footsteps, do you have some tips for other aspiring writers?

My publisher likes to say, “Butt in chair, write!” It’s the only advice they give to aspiring writers (by the way, I hate that phrase. If you write—you’re a writer. If you don’t—you aren’t. Getting to be an author, that’s a  totally different story.)

So what my publisher says is  really the only valid advice. You want to be a writer? Write. Of course I’m assuming you’ve done your reading, right? You’ve read extensively, many different authors, many different genres. You know what you want to write. You do? Then do it! Don’t talk about it, don’t blog about it, don’t tweet about it, write. Oh: and finish the book. Don’t start a new project before the other one is finished, or you’ll never get anywhere. Forget about writers’ conferences, workshops, chatrooms. No one can write your book for you, and there as many ways to write a novel as there are writers.

Do you really think Hemingway or Jane Austen ever attended a writers’ conference? They didn’t have them back then!

Q10 Just one final question, Mariam, can you tell us what is the nicest thing that has happened to you as a writer during the last 12 months?

Totally, utterly, the visit with my publisher.

Hmm…Maybe I should have said, winning the IPPY Award?

But that wouldn’t be true. It was the visit with the publisher. Going there makes me feel “real” as an author. Living in Germany and publishing in the US makes me feel very isolated at times, but when I go to New York and step into the publisher’s place I know it’s real indeed. They spoil me: I get a great Chinese lunch and Red Velvet cake, and I can watch how my books are being worked with: editing, marketing, designing the covers—it’s all there. And the awesome part is: they are really my books! The books I wrote, sitting on my couch or at my desk, while tweeting with you and all my other friends!

Well thanks to Mariam Kobras.  We are very grateful for your time.

Thanks so much for this Mariam

You can find a link Mariam’s books below

This was the final stop in Mariam’s Blog Hop celebrating the launch of her latest book, Under the Same Sun (Book II in the Stone Trilogy) which hit the Amazon.com bestseller list on its first day on sale!

We hope you enjoyed her guest posts, and invite you to write a comment below about this blog post for a chance to WIN one of three copies of Under the Same Sun (plus some pretty gosh, darn, yummy chocolate)!

You can get additional chances by following Mariam at every stop on her hop and leaving comments after each post. And hey, while you’re here, why not follow this blog—you won’t regret it. 

Check the Buddhapuss blog for the full calendar and more details about Mariam and her books!

Find Out More About Mariam

https://www.facebook.com/MariamKobrasAuthor 

http://mariamkobras.blogspot.de/ 

http://www.buddhapussink.com/index.html

 

 

Career Development – More IT jobs are in the cloud – Getting ready for the job you want in 2013

Today we have another post from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article.

Career Development – More IT jobs are in the cloud – Getting ready for the job you want in 2013

More IT jobs are in the cloud! Unless you’ve lived in a box the past year or so, you’re probably aware that cloud services are becoming more and more important in the computing world. It seems nearly all the major, and not so major, companies are working at building their cloud computing departments. Because of that, those IT professionals that have learned what it takes to work with applications and services in the cloud are considered highly desirable by human resources departments today. According to Bill Snyder from Infoworld, “Times are good for those with the right skills.”

The Possibilities

There’s not exactly hard data out there—there’s a lot of blurriness between the lines of cloud computing, SaaS and other architectures—but it is clear that there’s a lot of recent growth in cloud related fields. For instance, stats by Wanted Analytics (an employment statistics firm) show that there is a huge increase in these jobs. For instance, the company noted that in April 2012, there were over 12,000 cloud-related job postings, which was a 50 percent increase over the year before and a 275 percent increase from two years before.

Because of this staggering growth, there are actually more positions open than there are people to fill them, causing a bit of a labor shortage. In Seattle, for instance, cloud-related jobs are taking an average of seven weeks to fill—a very long time when compared to the quick fill rate of most IT positions. A company like Amazon has hundreds of current openings in cloud service jobs.

Knowledge

Since cloud computing is such a new and rapidly growing field,  it’s actually a good time for novices to get involved, even if they don’t have extensive experience with cloud-based services. For instance, at Amazon, someone with basic software and IT knowledge who has the interest in understanding how cloud computing works, is a highly-desirable candidate.

Many different languages are used in the cloud computing world and that makes  it more is difficult to work in, than in regular IT positions. Those with knowledge of Linux, Python, Ruby, C++ and even some other languages are finding new possibilities. Those who know multiple languages, or are willing to learn them, are the ones who find the jobs the easiest. Recruiters encourage a broader skill set in today’s workforce.

Getting Hired

So, what does it take to get hired in these positions other than the basic IT knowledge and a desire to learn? It’s not necessarily a résumé full of certifications. Certifications are lagging behind the current skills used in the marketplace today, so they’re becoming less relevant. According to Mark E. Russinovich of Microsoft, when developing for cloud-related applications, the background and skills of the candidate are what is more important.

Only time will tell whether we’re in for another tech boom, or if this is just a brief growth in an interesting aspect of the overall IT field. Many in the industry, expect that soon qualified candidates will catch up to the needs of the companies and the current glut of IT jobs in cloud computing will not be at the same levels they are now. Because of this, anyone interested in making the move to cloud computing, may wish to get started honing their skills and building their résumé now.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

Simple ways to market your start-up business

Market your start-up business

Simple ways to market your start-up business

Market your start-up business – running a business can be a little like running an assembly line. You put huge amounts of energy into working long hours and making lots of sacrifices. But, if one piece is out of place, the whole thing can go haywire. You think you have a very nice operation going and then something is missing, there are no customers. And with no customers around to generate revenue, you might as well close your doors. But as a new business owner you don’t have lots of money to spend on marketing. Don’t worry – help is at hand – there are several ways in which you can find those all important clients without spending lots and lots of money.

One very effective and creative way new business owners can attract customers is through contests and promotional giveaways. Moreover, since most everybody enjoys receiving free stuff (regardless of what it is), you will not have to shell out a fortune to purchase the give-away items. custom bags, baseball caps, and even t-shirts are all fair game.

In addition, you can start to contact other local businesses, Make sure you tell them clearly what you can do for them and their businesses. Make it clear what makes your service or product unique. Also, you should make sure you have a simple but attractive website that people will want to visit. Include what you offer, how you can be found and your hours of operation.

You could think about putting an inexpensive ad in a yellow book directory. That said, look carefully at the various directories that you have available in your community and pick and choose wisely. Not all yellow book directories are equal in how they present you, their billing, and their popularity in the community.

Keep track of your results and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. And I wish you every success

This is a sponsored post

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Embedding Change

Embedding change

Embedding Change – Making It Stick And Creating A Culture

Embedding change – here are some ways to make sure the change in your organization is successful

  1. Give them the evidence Show people over and over that the change is real. Provide them with a steady stream of evidence to prove that the change has happened and is successful.  Set out to deliver real results at regular intervals in your change process and then tell people about them – don’t just wait for the big bang at the end. Get people involved and then get them to talk about their involvement.  Make sure everyone hears the news.
  2. Financial reward When loyalty and the joy of the job are not enough to keep people, they may need some financial or other rewards.  The promise of future reward may be enough to keep them engaged but make sure it isn’t too far out to be enticing — usually reasonable reward needs to be within a twelve-month timeframe. This risk is that when the reward is gained, you may lose them. If you want them to stay, you may need to keep a rolling “golden handcuff “ system
  3. Build change into formal systems and structures After a while, institutionalized things become so entrenched, people forget to resist and just do what is required, even if they do not agree with them.  So you can make changes stick by building them into the formal fabric of the organization, for example, in standards and personal objectives.
  4. Give them a new challenge A challenge is a great motivator that can focus people on new and different things. Get people to keep up interest in a change by giving them new challenges related to the change.  Make sure the challenges really stimulate them and keep them looking to the future.
  5. Reward people for doing the right things. A surprisingly common trap in change is to ask (or even demand) that people change, yet the reward system that is driving their behavior is not changed. Asking for teamwork then rewarding people as individuals is a very common example.  So when you make a change, make sure that you align the reward system with the changes that you want to happen.
  6. Rites of passage Rituals are symbolic acts to which we attribute significant meaning. A celebration to mark a change is used in many cultures, ranging from rites of passage to manhood for aboriginal tribes to the wedding ceremonies of Christian and other religions. Such ritual passages are often remembered with great nostalgia, and even the remembrance of them becomes ritualized.  When a change is completed, celebrate with a party or some other ritualized recognition of the passing of a key milestone.  You can also start a change with a wake (which is a party that is held to celebrate the life of someone who has died) to symbolize letting go of the past.  Create new rituals to help shift the culture to a new form. Use these, if possible, to replace the rituals that already exist.
  7. Socializing Build your change into the social fabric. A change that is socialized becomes normal and the ‘way things are’.  When something becomes a social norm, people will be far more unlikely to oppose it as to do so is to oppose the group and its leaders. Seal changes by building them into the social structures.  Give social leaders prominent positions in the change. When they feel ownership for it, they will talk about it and sell it to others.

If you have other ideas for embedding change and making it successful, please share them here.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Job Search Tips

Job Search Tips

Monster’s Top 5 Job Search Tips

I found these five top job search tips on the Monster website.

Five key things you need to do to make your job hunt a resounding success.

  1. Look for hidden vacancies. Instead of advertising their available jobs, employers often look to fill vacancies by word-of-mouth, head-hunting or simply by recruiting internally. Knowing how to get yourself in contention for these roles could give you a major boost when it comes to finding your next role.
  2. Get employers to come to you. Getting head-hunted is no longer the preserve of employees in senior management. When you post your CV online, you are immediately putting your details within reach of thousands of employees may save you the trouble of searching through job adverts.
  3. Target the right companies. Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or would you rather have the safety of a large organisation with job security and a clear career path? Knowing what you want allows you to narrow down your search and spend more time on applying for the roles you really want.
  4. Build a network. Networking is getting to know people who can help you develop your career prospects. You don’t need to be a big shot or the most outgoing person in the world to network effectively, just keep your ears open and listen for information that could work to your advantage.
  5. Keep your spirits up. As time passes, the rejections mount up and the budgets get tighter, it’s easy to become disheartened. However, this is exactly the time when you need to dust yourself off and put in more hard work than ever. One of the main attributes of a successful job seeker is persistence.

Working with a career coach can have a huge impact on the success of your job search  If you would like my support, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Personality Type

Personality type

Career Development. Understanding your Personality Type, Values, Interests

This is an interesting and informative introduction from Stevie Pocket about the importance of understanding values, personality type and skills for your Career Development.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

7 Steps To Take If You Are Subjected to Sexual Harassment At Work

All Unwanted Sexual Touching Is More Than Harassment – It Is Sexual Assault

Sexual Harassment – today we are tackling a difficult and challenging subject.

It is important to understand that if someone touches you sexually at work, even over your clothing, it is not just sexual harassment or bullying  – it is also sexual assault and should be taken seriously.

But should you let  “harmless”  crude remarks and sexual innuendos go? No! If something is making you feel uncomfortable you should stop it right then and there before it escalates.

Here are steps to help you protect yourself and your civil rights if you have been or are being sexually harassed at work.

1. Confront The Harasser

Confront the person sexually harassing you. Look them in the eye and tell them what they did was inappropriate. Be specific and blunt – do not worry about being rude – you have a right to be.

2. Tell Them To Stop!

The first time someone does something you object to tell them “stop!”  Say it loud enough for others to hear for extra emphasis.  Never apologize or make excuses for the offender.

3. Document It Or Report It Immediately

Sexual harassment is wrong, illegal and deserves to be addressed.  But if you feel in your best judgment you have handled things in steps one and two above at least document the date, time, place, what happened, your action, and the harasser’s response.  If it ever happens again to you, or to someone else at work, you will have a history to refer to.

You can read the rest of these steps at this link.

Your rights to work in an environment free from sexual harassment are protected by  law in the US and the UK and in many other countries.  Your union or a lawyer will able to advise you if you have a case and what legal steps to take to sue your harasser or employer in civil court.

If you are physically injured by an attacker, you should call the police immediately, and then contact an attorney as soon as possible to document evidence you may need later to prove your case.

Many victims blame themselves in some way, or others may say a victim was “asking for it.”  But victims are not to blame – no one asks to be the subject of a sexual assault.

Please note! There is nothing clever about sexual horseplay in the office, even when the two main players are equal in power and believe they are consenting.  It is embarrassing and unpleasant for others.  And it may create a climate in which others see sexual harassment as acceptable.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Why I don’t send newsletters.

Why I don’t send newsletters.

Why I Rarely Send Newsletters.

Newsletters – I have a very long “List” and I am on lots of other people’s’ “Lists”.

Those of you into marketing and selling will know what that means. It means I have a very long list of email addresses of people who have either signed up to receive things from me or in some other way acquiesced in my sending things to them.

It means, as well, that I have let lots of other people add my email address to their List and send me things like newsletters.

So, at this point, my email inbox is simply unreadable.  It is full every day with very long newsletters and impersonal marketing emails from people who want to sell me things. And, usually, they are things like coaching and training services because that is now my “niche”.

On the whole, they are from very nice and well-meaning people who want to sell me services that they consider useful.

And a good number of them work hard to make those emails and newsletters interesting and informative   But they are still about trying to get me to sign up for something. And most of them have very little regard as to whether I might need it.  They are usually providers of the same services as me.

And guess what!  I do exactly same thing when I send out a newsletter.  I work very hard to include at least one really useful article that has not appeared on any of my blogs – I try to give something.  But, at the end of the day, the reason I send them, is to get people to sign up for things. And then off they go to the 1.000 plus email addresses and I feel I’ve achieved something.

Now, most of those of us who are not in the public sector and who provide goods and services have to find a way to sell them and that means marketing. Marketing is a good thing to do! So please don’t misunderstand what I am about to write.

I have come to the conclusion that Newsletters are not a great way to market things. I do think they can be a great way to mildly embarrass your self and to lose friends. Here, I’m not talking about the kind of newsletters that are sent out by real clubs and societies.  And I am not talking about real subscription services that exist for the real benefit of members.

I’m talking about the newsletters that are produced by people who provide goods and services and simply want you to buy them.  I have come to believe that receiving these kind of emails is like receiving flyers through your non-digital letter/mail box. Now, brightly coloured paper through my letter box is great if I’m looking for a pizza delivery service but I don’t believe it is the best way to find out about professional services like coaching. It is junk mail.

So now I rarely send newsletters and, one by one, I’m unsubscribing from them.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Be A Better Manager – Knowing How To Delegate

Being A Better Manager – Knowing How To Delegate

Do you really know how to delegate? I bet you say you do! But I wonder?

Knowing when, and what, to delegate does help. It should not just be about feeling you’ve got too much to do and you just need to pass something (anything) from your in-tray on to someone else.

When you delegate what you delegate should meet two criteria;

  1. It must lighten your load and free you up to concentrate on what is important for you to do at your level, with your particular skills.
  2. It should help the receiver to learn and grow.

You should give the receiver the authority they need to complete the task just as if you had done it yourself. Of course, you give them only the authority necessary for their work and to complete the task as you would. You need to have a care about this; particularly where budgets are concerned.

Remember, though, that when you delegate, the responsibility remains with you. You need to make sure they have the training they need to do the job and you need to think about how they will be supervised. There needs to be space for them to do the task in their own way, but you need to ensure they understand, and will meet, any necessary standards. Most importantly, you (and they) need to be clear about how you will measure the results.

Then, you need to give them time to practice and you need to accept that when they start, they won’t do the job as well as you.

They will need to know who they can go to for help, if they have a problem.

When you know how to delegate properly, you will have established an opportunity for real personal development for your team. And they will be better motivated as a result. On top of that, you will have more time to concentrate on the work that really requires your input – a win-win situation, all round.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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People Matter

People Matter

Leading Change – People Matter

People Matter – this is not a new post but I thought it was worth re-posting because the message holds good for all time 

I’ve just seen an advert for a “change management lead” for a multi-national facilities management company – they provide everything from reception services to construction.  It asks for Prince2 (project management skills) and Six Sigma (improving the quality of process outputs) certification.  It mentions the enterprise management system used by the organisation and says the post-holder would be required to set up and document SLAs and define KPIs.  Sadly, beyond asking for the candidate to have strong interpersonal skills, the one thing it doesn’t mention is PEOPLE and leading people – this from a company in the heart of the services sector!

Makes you wonder doesn’t it?  If a services organisation doesn’t know enough about change to know that people, and the leadership of people, are at the heart of any change then we really do have a long way to go to spread the message! But something else strikes me as well!  If the applicant is required to lead change then this company doesn’t really know much about leadership either and that has much wider implications!

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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