Being a Team Player: How Do You Define It?

I am probably the wrong person to be writing this. As a corporate employee I was not always seen as a team player as defined by my managers. That can be a problem, especially at review time. Continue reading

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Book Proposals: Audience Analysis

I’m continuing the process of translating this blog into a book. Right now I’m developing a formal book proposal because a) a publisher might want one and b) it’ll help me clarify my thinking regarding what I plan to say in said book. Today’s exercise will be on audience analysis: knowing who my intended audience will be and why they might be interested in reading what I have to say. Publishers like this information because it shows that the author knows his/her audience and has a rough idea of how many people are likely to buy the book. Let’s dive in! Continue reading

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Post-Conference Activities

Apologies if this is a little late. I’ve been doing conference follow-up on my TVIW experience. Conference follow-up? What the heck is that? Allow me to explain. Continue reading

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Expressing Concerns in a Technical Environment

As I noted here last Monday, I spent last week at the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW), handling the conference’s social media activities. As an interested participant, I had my own interests to pursue as well. And given the awfulness of the shooting in Las Vegas, I had the problem of human evil/self-destructiveness high in my mind amidst the soaring aspirations of sending people to the stars. How does one get ethical concerns “elevated” in a technical organization? Follow along, friends. I’ll offer some ideas. Continue reading

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Playing the Game

When I was in my early to mid-twenties, I was often sarcastic, dismissive of manager opinions, and expecting to advance by people naturally recognizing how brilliant I was. In short, I was a smart-@$$, entitled, pain in the neck. I was not good at what my parents called “playing the game.” They might call it something different now, but however you describe it, I know that I didn’t start making any serious progress in my career until I stopped railing against everything I hated about “the system” and started trying to understand the system as it was and make it work for me. Continue reading

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Overlapping Your Interests

If you have a lot of side projects with overlapping interests or topics, occasionally the various streams in your life will cross. This is a good thing, though sometimes it happens quite by accident. This week, I’ve got four different activities converging in one place and event. It should be exciting! Here’s what it looks like from the freelancer’s perspective when multiple projects and customers overlap. Continue reading

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Self-Help Books and Competitive Analysis

I’m reading a lot of business and self-improvement books right now; not just because I appreciate the information, but because I’m writing a book in this genre and book proposal requires an analysis of books that are comparable to mine. The idea in the book proposal is to show a publisher that you understand the market you’re writing in and can clearly identify how your work differs from the competition. One thing I’ve learned clearly so far is what the book I want to write is not compared to the competition. Continue reading

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