Please, Please Just Email Me Back

There’s a pet peeve that office people quickly pick up and share across the border—people not answering emails. Like any other other relationship, the one between you and your recruiter or you and your financial advisor, etc relies on communication. We are all responsible for keeping it up. All that I ask is that you send an email. I can even disregard the fact that I don’t get responses to emails that say “please email me when you receive this.” I am talking about the people that do not show up and call or even send me a “hey I can’t make it” in the line of her email. You might not like the person you are communicating with, but just like it’s rude to ignore someone standing right next to you, calling out your name, it’s certainly rude to ignore their little envelope on your screen. Being rude really never gets you anywhere and might also gets a little note on your contact that says: “did not call.”

What to do and Why

           If you can’t be somewhere because you did not think you were a fit

Email saying: “I do not feel like this opportunity is a good fit for me. Please feel free to contact me/I will contact you in the future if need be.”

I understand I did not exactly resonate with you and that is OK, but let me know. If nothing else, I might reevaluate my approach. I am not going to harass you if you tell me that you would like to contact me next time you need my help. I do not like bothering people because that is not a good business practice. Plus, if you do not want to talk to me now, I know there’s a good chance you won’t change your mind in a week. I will give you space, promise.

          If you did not like the opportunity I had for you

Email me letting me know what you would prefer: “ I understand that you currently offer XYZ, and I do not feel like that would be the best fit for me, please feel free to contact me if ABC ever comes across your desk or if you know someone who can help.”

It’s a small world. Networking is key everywhere. With today’s unemployment rates and general financial gaps, chances are you will be running into the same people. You do not know if your next potential job has already employed someone who has heard your name and knows they do not want to deal with you. The label No Show, stays with you for a long time. Think about your encounters with people. Unfortunately, the bad ones stick sore in your memory longer than the good ones. If you do not give someone the tiny piece of respect that is communication, it won’t be quickly forgotten and your networking will definitely be hindered.

          Really, just send an email

Email is a really easy way to communicate. If you find that you get jittery making a call or  you have a tough time saying No, email gives you the perfect opportunity to do so without putting too much of your ego/confidence on the line. The bottom line is: if you ignore me, I will definitely ignore you. We leave in a world full of people. No one is 100% self sufficient. One simple act of kindness goes a long way. Letting someone who is working for you or with you on something know you are indisposed shows them his/her effort is still appreciated even though it’s not the right fit right now.


Windows 8 and Businesses Won’t Mix

I have previously written about Windows 8 being a real nail bitter. Already the new Windows Surface tablet is proving to be troublesome, which Microsoft addressed by lowering the cost from the predicted 600$ to a possible 200$ to rival that of the Amazon Kindle running on Andriod. Recently every head hunting company shrieked with excitement upon hearing about LinkedIn integration into the new Outlook, Microsoft will be releasing with their new OS. Of course, they got excited all too soon. Everyone from Gabe Newell to random internet strangers have pointed out the numerous flaws in the new operating. This leads me to believe that alas, companies will not be switching to Windows 8, but rather doing another version of “sit and wait on Windows XP,” this time titled “sit and wait on Windows 7,” until Microsoft gets the next thing right.

What’s Not Going to Stick:

  1. Some people might be ok with a tablet-like interface, but it’s pretty clear that if only 11 percent of the adult population owns a tablet, not everyone wants to use one. Really the displeasure should be obvious, considering no one buys a desktop if they really want a tablet. Especially, considering the comparative cost of the two. I could sit here and be frustrated over the fact that had Apple started the desktop-as-tablet revolution, Macheads would have been sure to claim it as the new way of technology. Instead, I am going to point out that Microsoft started the tablet-as-desktop revolution, forcing non-tablet users to integrate into tablet format on their computers. Basically, it’s nice to have a tablet that works like a computer and syncs all of its information across all devices, but not one wants a computer that looks like it has half of the features a desktop.
  2. I might be overly skeptical, but I’m not really sure that the LinkedIn integration will work the way recruiters want it to. Sure, there is no doubt we will get to see whatever your contact may have added to their LinkedIn profile. But do we also want the reminders that we still need to connect with someone we have possibly never spoken to based on a recommendation? What about the idea that social media is invading into one of the few things online we still like to believe is personal—our email? Is this inevitable because social media is an inseparable part of today’s society or did LinkedIn and Microsoft just get greedy?
  3.  It can’t be used comfortably for…anything. The start and desktop as apps? Having Office on the cloud? Not many people have adapted Microsoft’s current tools. Let’s look at the update from the perspective of those people who do not get the latest gadgets all the time. The good ol’ baby boomers who are still a huge part of the economy in their working efforts. I’m certainly generalizing here, many have an issue adapting early to a new operating system that looks nothing like anything they’ve dealt with before. Other than those who are now sporting the new Windows Phone and eagerly waiting for the Surface Tablet, Window’s new OS will be a big change—something that few want to deal with. One of the reasons that Windows 7 was successful, was its mix between some people being familiar with Vista and wanting a better version of it and others just sitting on Windows XP for entirely too long. Most companies will not jump on the band wagon right away and will in fact run away from it if it’s too unfamiliar.

Finally: I hate to admit it, but people have always turned to Windows to be innovative while keeping things familiar. It’s one of the reasons people do not switch to Mac. I am not suggesting that Microsoft should have just stayed with Windows 7, but this is not the answer. People were not prepared and they certainly will have a tough time adjusting. If my predictions are right, this new OS will roll out, already few like it and even fewer will once it’s out of beta. Their next operating system will simply remove the new extremes and become more videogame-friendly again. Unless, Microsoft is also trying to get people to use their Xboxes and not their PC’s for gaming, but that’s a huge can of worms we are not about to open yet.

Is Office 15 Worthy of Your Office?

We could sit here and discuss forever how Android’s new Jelly Bean OS beats iPhone’s Siri in every test. However, that would be just for fun, a distraction from the important business that Windows announced on Monday. Hope you have not gotten used to Office 2010 because an update is coming and like Windows 7 was to Windows Vista—this one is big. Windows is trying to compete with a world full of desk top apps and tablets. Office’s new format will follow everything else in the shiney Windows 8 OS. Considering that Microsoft is entering that land a little bit late with its Surface tablet launching five years after the iPad, it’s important that everything works. Especially when keeping in mind that during its first display the tablet lowered many expectations. Microsoft promises that the Office 15 (aka Office 2013) will be convenient to use without a difficult learning curve. We’ve observed that learning might come be harder to those who have not joined Office 365, the cloud-enabled application system that businesses have been slow to adapt to. Microsoft promised during its Monday announcement that they will be working to better 365 while they put out the new Office 2013.[1]

The new Office Suite forces you to deal with the currently clumsy Office 365. If the previous version asked that you create your document on your desktop first, with the Word, PowerPoint or Excel doc and then upload it, Office 2013 will prefer you to start from the online server and only download the doc to your desktop if you need it. Your recent documents will show up as tiles once you open the desktop version the Office program. Again, tablet friendly. On the same note, Office 365 is supposed to make collaborations painless and it delivers. Little underlines and bubbles make it is easy to see when someone on your team is helping you out. No word yet whether all parties can have the same documents open at the same time without the program freaking out.

Here are some other highlights, summarized: Reading docs is easy too. When you’re in ‘Read Only’ mode entire paragraphs can be collapsed and all borders/mark ups removed, so that only one thing is front your eyes at a time. Office 2013 is able to read and edit PDF documents. Not only can you change a PDF document or embed it inside of your new Word.doc, you can then save that completed work as either a .pdf or a .doc. You can also embed videos into your document. Now to Excel. It’s gotten smarter so that it knows ahead of time what you are about to put into a new column if it’s seen that name/thing/number somewhere else before.  It will also recommends charts for you based on the contents of the table you created. Powerpoint can be uploaded online, which makes it great for moving your presentations as needed. Finally, Outlook has been made easier by modifying how you set up mail rules.

Business Worthiness: While this might be pretty convenient for those will little desktop memory, it is certainly a new manner of doing things. It might take a while to get used to not going to My Documents or your neat little folders on your home screen. The alternative will make neat little folders on the server that everyone can see across the company if you choose to do so without the hassle of having to look through your entire computer. As you can see, it’s business savvy to have the cloud to save space and time, but the learning curve might be considerably not worth it.  Keep in mind, however, that if the new Office does well, your business might be left in program dust.

[1] If you have a mid-size business, it might be easier to use SkyDrive, the cloud system that Microsoft holds for its Hotmail uses that can store up to 7GB of data and easily syncs with both its current Office, 2010 and Office 15.

Businesses Might be Forced to Remove Macs from the Picture

Apple’s last conference left a lot of people very excited for their next product’s main attraction, the Retina display. Some of the features of the new Mac could make a great addition to any workforce. It helps that the MacBook Pro is able to run multiple monitors without a problem. Another being how cool the Mac stays under the pressure of running those monitors. But there are a lot of issues waiting for the business consumer that are easily overlooked because of society’s general obsession with Apple products. Specifically, Going Green. We’ve installed recycling bins on every street corner (at least as observed in NY/NJ), we use ecofriendly water bottles, compostable potato chip bags, recycling bins specifically for plastic bags are in every grocery and paper speakers amp up our phones. So how is it that Apple’s latest computer has moved so far away from those efforts?

The latest MacBook Pro with Retina has been deemed “The least Repairable Laptop” on the market. Perhaps a consumer could overlook the fact that the new Retina machine does not have an Ethernet port. Maybe they could get excited for the  three monitor hook up because of the graphics it enables. Let’s not even discuss the fact that Apple can no longer claim to be virus free. Most will probably even look past the fast that the outdated technology (RAM and Processors compared to competitors) will not stand the test of a year’s time.  “Fine, I can update the parts, add an ethernet” Macheads might immediately chime in. However, being “the least repairable laptop” means that you no longer can just update any piece on your own. It means that repair costs go up and so do the spare pieces needed to make a more complete laptop. More importantly, it means the government can’t purchase the machines. Before anyone gets upset claiming government control over everything, I would like to point out that the regulation only asks that the machine be easily disassembled to recycle. Seems like a noble cause to us.

Apple’s new release just doesn’t stand the poor-economy-consumer test. What’s to come for the environmentally friendly folks who want a compostable laptop Apple just recently boasted? In a profit driven world there is no room for wallet comfort, and certainly no room for ecofriendly.

Apple actually accomplished a lot of things for their business and yours. They can return their product to being exclusive, because those with their senses intact will doubtfully purchase a computer that cannot be updated for anything less than Apple charges. The MacBook Pro with Retina will return Macs to Designers, who need the graphics, but don’t need constant contact with the internet and conversely will not be receiving viruses from its use. As an entrepreneur, no one expects companies who have switched to Mac to switch to Windows, but during the next update, you will be forced to reconsider shelling out a thousand dollars for a laptop that loses a the basic functions a business uses, the internet. If the government can’t stand behind a private company that accounts for much of the U.S. imports, how could you?

Two Ways to Know You Got the Job

When interviewing for a company, you might be running up against some stiff competition. Other than making sure you follow the tips posted earlier, there is a fairly reliable way to deduct whether or not the employer would like to see you again.

1. Did you Stack up to the Competition?

If you are applying to a corporate job through Monster or Indeed, the website will usually give you a basic statistic of who else applied for the job, average level of education, years of experience, etc. If you found out about the job through a connection, the task gets easier. If you got the interview with the help of a staffing company, ask your recruiter what he knows about others applying and how many other recruiters were put to the task to his knowledge. If your interview was set up by a friend, make sure you ask them who else is coming in and how they received their opportunity. Moreover, it’s always easy to spot someone who came to interview before you. He will be dressed to the 9s (such as you should be) and look just as nervous. Don’t be afraid to size them up to yourself.

2. Did you Do Your Research?

Have you figured out that the other guy looks the part more than you do? Trouble doesn’t end there. If you find yourself stumbling over the question: “why do you think you would make a great addition to XYZ?” –you didn’t do your research and it’s about to become obvious. You can be positive someone is going to come in right after you and know the exact answer to that question. Another thing: no matter how terrible your name memory is, and most of us admit having a pretty bad one, one thing should be engraved into your memory. If the receptionist asks you and you don’t know the name of the person you are interviewing with, stumbling or saying the wrong name is going to make you seem careless. If you know names are not your specialty, write this one on your hand and prepare jokes in case you forget somehow anyway. Finally, do not forget the simple task of Googling. I cannot begin to describe how many people have came back from an interview with positive feedback just because they knew about a merger the company had five years ago. Google will also answer the question: “do you know what XYZ company does?”

Knowing that you can answer both of those criteria successfully will be the difference between success and continuing to search for work. It will boost your confidence enough to a) believe in yourself enough to avoid jitters and b)actually get the job because you’ve done your best to deserve it.