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Today, a friend of mine was part of mass layoffs after her company had some major client losses in rapid succession.
And you thought you had a bad day at work.
She sensed it was coming because the company had announced impending doom, and the odds were against her. Even if they kept her on, she’d be working with a skeleton crew in an already demanding position.
We have become a society mired in data. You’ve probably heard the saying, “if you are getting something for free you are not the customer, you are the product.”
Sites like Google, Facebook and Mint.com have made our lives easier. Yet in reality these big data houses aggregate the information we provide to learn more about what we want, like and buy; all so that companies can market to us better.
In 1996, Bill Gates told us, “Content is king.” For the next 15 years, we began taking Gates’ words to heart, and we all started producing content like never before. We blogged, we tweeted, we tumbled and stumbled upon, we built Wikipedia. We wrote, wrote, and wrote some more.
And then 2012 came along and content was still king, but a different type of content ruled the day – visual content. We pinned and we Instagramed, and we traded in long status post for sharable visuals on Facebook.
So, what does this content shift mean for us as PR pros and journalists? By trade, we write. We love sentence structure and grammar and painting a picture with our words. I’ll venture to say most of us can’t create a beautiful infographic in InDesign. So, what now?
I had such a strong reaction to Yahoo’s memo eliminating telecommuting that you’d think I actually worked for the company. I find that telecommuting often elicits that kind of reaction and heated debate.
Some, like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, think it’s destructive – or at least not productive. One of my former superiors found even the idea of “work/life balance” so repellent that we were forbidden from pitching any related stories on behalf of our clients, no matter how relevant.
In elementary school, we were taught multiple stages of writing. Remember how you started with a “brainstorm” activity (that inevitably included some type of Venn Diagram) which led to a first draft? And after teacher edits, you wrote a second draft, did some peer editing, and then developed a final draft that you proudly handed in.
If only we had that kind of time in the real world.
Next up in this series about avoiding unemployment: Always write thank you notes. Not thank you emails. Or thank you tweets. Or thank you inbox messages. I’m talking old school, handwritten thank you notes.
I promise you — this is what will set you apart. For every five people that read this, I’d guess one of you (maybe two if you all are super ambitious!) will actually do this. And that one individual will be the person who successfully avoids unemployment.
How to stay sane when work slows down
To paraphrase Edgar Allen Poe, "I was never insane except upon occasions when I was training for a marathon."
A few months ago I ran my first – and last – marathon. During six months of training, I ran 4-5 days per week. I woke up at 4:30 on Saturday mornings to prepare for long runs around the lake. It was an insane schedule, and I counted the days to the final three weeks of training season... the taper weeks.
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