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Dealing with Bad Managers

by Molly Smith | 0 comments
As some of you may know, working for an incompetent manager can make a job extremely stressful.

I for one have dealt with my fair share of bad managers. There was one manager I had when I worked at an auto dealership who used to come into work late every single day. Their assigned hours were from 8am to 4pm, but they usually didn't drag in until about noon. On top of being late for work ever day, they were also usually in a very bad mood. I am not sure if this was due to a drinking problem, personal issues at home or both. Because this manager was in charge of overseeing and approving loans, I lost several customers because I couldn't get the loan paperwork processed. I worked at this dealership for eight months, and not once did this manager come in on time. This used to make me and the other sales associates very mad because we knew that we could not get away with this.

Having a bad manager can make any type of job stressful, especially for employees in the corporate sector. Working in a corporate environment is already stressful enough, so having a bad manager can almost make a job unbearable. I personally have seen several bad managers in various corporate based businesses that include insurance companies, public relations firms and accounting agencies.

At one particular public relations firm I worked at, there was a department manager that always called an after work team meeting on Friday afternoons. His staff said he does this because he doesn't do any work all week. Most of his days consist of coming in at 10am, going to lunch at noon, returning from lunch at 2pm and leaving for the day at 3. So in order for him to be able to update the client, he has his team stay after work on Friday's to catch him up any news so he can be prepared for his Monday afternoon client conference call.

Not surprisingly, his staff was not too crazy about meeting after work on a Friday evening. Most have been working very hard during the week doing media pitching and other client related duties, so by the time Friday rolls around they are ready for the weekend. Because of this manager's behavior, there was always a high staff turnover rate in that department.

I also know of an insurance company that has 3 really bad managers. They all take breaks and lunch at the same time, which sometimes involves all 3 of them being gone for hours. As a result, a lot of important meetings get canceled and a lot of customers issues go unresolved.

If you work in these type of working environments, I suggest updating your resume start looking for a new job. 

The State of Angel Investing

by Molly Smith | 0 comments
I was glad to hear the recent news that angel investing is steadily increasing. This was because over the past few years angel investing had declined significantly due to the economy. This in turn caused a lot of technology projects and business launches to be put on hold.

Now that there are some positive signs that the economy is slowly turning around, more angel investors are showing interest in new business ideas. This is great news for those looking for a financial investment to officially launch their new business.

Just like in years past, many angel investors are investing in technology start up companies. From an investor standpoint, investing in a technology based has strong potential of generating a good financial return. At this current time it appears that mobile technology based companies are high on angel investor's lists. This is because the mobile technology industry has grown significantly over the past year.

Some of this growth has been the result of companies like Twitter and Yahoo getting more involved in mobile applications. They are doing this because they want to provide more viewing options for their users and readers. A large number of technology start up founders are hoping to take advantage of this mobile growth by developing tools that are compatible with Yahoo and Google products.

Many angel investors are also keeping an eye out for technology start ups that are involved in developing online alternatives to cable television. In light of all the people who are cutting their cable cords due to high monthly fees, some angel investors feel that this type of technology definitely has good revenue making potential.

In addition to technology start ups, you will also find a lot of angel investors today investing in restaurants and fashion based companies. Given the fact that the economy is still struggling on many levels, these investment choices are somewhat surprising. However, a lot of restaurant owners have been able to generate interest from angel investors because they have a proven track record of attracting patrons and also for generating consistent sales. In most instances an angel investor will only consider investing in a restaurant that has been in business at least five years and has an established clientele. The types of restaurants that seem to be doing well financially these days are neighborhood deli's and bistro's.

There has also been quite a number of fashion based start ups that have been able to secure angel financing. These businesses are generally involved in online fashion boutiques and pop up retail stores. These type of fashion related businesses are doing particularly well because they don't require as much initial financial investment as a traditional brick and mortar store. It is for this reason that they are financially appealing to angel investors. 

Space Exploration - The Next Entrepreneurial Revolution

by Molly Smith | 0 comments
There have been so many news stories recently about CEO's developing space transportation vehicles, that I have started wondering if there is something going in space that most of us don't know about.

One of these CEO 's heads a technology based company, and they have heavily invested in a space ship type project that is designed to transport people to the moon. This is really confusing to me, because I think there are a lot of great places to visit right here on earth. I am not only amazed at how much interest there is about going to space, but I am also amazed at how much money is being invested in projects like these.

There is also another CEO of a major company who has been working on a space ship project for the last several years. Since this type of project is so different from this CEO's core business, I don't see what the connection between the two is. This CEO should definitely have their hands full managing their core business, especially since the business has recently added several new products and services.

From what I have been able to gather from reading some of these recent articles, the main goal for these space ship projects is to transport individuals up there so they can become familiar with the atmosphere up there. They are hoping that after several test visits these individuals will come back and book the ship for a vacation. I am not sure what the cost will be, but I am sure that it won't be cheap. As a matter of fact, I think I remember hearing one CEO say that one trip alone would cost several hundred thousand dollars. Not only am I curious to see if this project ever gets off the ground, but I am also curious to see what type of people would be willing to pay this type of money to fly up into space. I would rather pay a third of this money and vacation somewhere here on earth. In addition, based on space photos I have seen over the years from NASA, I don't think there is very much to see on the moon, Mars or any other place in space.

Despite how I feel about these space based projects, I keep telling myself that there must be something up there of interest. If not, why would these CEO's be willing to invest this type of money?

I also have thought that if enough people show interest in taking one of these space trips, that I wouldn't be surprised if some real estate developer tried to build a retail mall and condo project right on moon. I can imagine seeing a sign that sign that says, “Welcome to the Moon Retail Center and Condo Living District”. Then next we will probably start seeing employment ads on Monster and Linkedin for jobs on Mars. 

How the unemployed are beginning new careers?

by Molly Smith | 0 comments

One of the things that has resulted from long term unemployment, is the beginning of new careers for millions of people. Many of these people had previously been unemployed for two to three years. After being unemployed for such a long period of time, they realized that they would need to get new skills and start looking for career options in new fields.

When the economy first started going downhill back in late 2007, thousands of companies began laying off their employees. This trend continued all the way through the end of 2008. Some of the people who got laid off had been working for over twenty plus years. Once they tried to get back into the work force, many found that their lack of technology skills and age was working against them.

One sector that laid off a lot of people was the banking industry. A large percentage of these employees had started working at these banks right out of high school. Some started off in teller positions and others in the check processing department. In both of these positions, a lot of manual work was involved. While many banks have implemented new technology systems in various departments, there are still some employees who have not been trained in the latest technology. As a result, it was hard for them to find a new job once they got laid off. In order to become marketable, some went back to school to learn new skills. This included attending technical schools and two year colleges. Once their educational training was completed, most were able to find jobs in new industries.

Some examples include large numbers of former check processing clerks who now work as medical assistants. Then there are also a lot of former bank tellers who are now working in the graphic design and mortgage processing field. Because these fields and positions and so totally different than what they were previously doing, some were understandably a little nervous beginning their new jobs. This especially includes those over the age of fifty, who thought they were too old to learn new skills.

Most of these people admit that if they had not gotten laid off, they would have never gone back to school and started a new career. While getting laid off was a very bad experience, most are happier with their new jobs.

In addition to starting new jobs, many of the previous long term unemployed have also started their own businesses. Some started businesses based on their favorite hobbies, and others launched new businesses based on advice from their friends and mentors. Many of the ones who started a business based on a hobby, have opened up catering services, bakeries, auto design shops and boutique dress stores. While some of those who started a business based on professional advice, have started computer repair businesses and graphic design firms. 

Beyonce popularity decline

by Molly Smith | 0 comments
This past week there was a lot of entertainment articles regarding Beyonce canceling some of her concert dates for her “Mrs. Carter World Tour.

The articles about her canceling concert dates started with were rumors that she was pregnant with her second baby. Because of this, doctors were ordering her not to perform at the concert and to slow down her schedule. Well these rumors went on for about two days. Finally on the day of the concert, there were articles all over the internet about how Beyonce was determined to perform despite her doctors orders.

After a few days of more rumors and articles, some started wondering if this was just a PR stunt to get people to come to her concert because of slow ticket sales. I don't know how many people have been attending the “Mrs. Carter World Tour”, but I do know that I have not seen any headlines about any of her concerts being “sold out”. If I recall, during her previous tours from a few years ago, I remember seeing numerous articles about sold out concert events.

I think one of the reasons we are not seeing any sold out headlines for this current tour, is because a lot of people are “over” Beyonce. There I said it. I know some people (including her PR camp) don't want to hear this, but this woman has stayed in the media much too long and the public needs a break from her.

These days hardly a day goes by when either Beyonce or her husband Jay Z are not mentioned in the media. One day the news is about Jay Z starting a new business, and another day it's about one of Beyonce's songs getting leaked on the internet. We all know that these songs are leaked by her PR team in order to generate attention for an upcoming concert or album.

Also, I have seen some of the clips from her concerts and it seems like it is the same old songs and dance routines that she featured in her previous tours. This type of stuff was cool during her “Crazy in Love” and “I AM” tours, but at some point her fans expect her performances and songs to mature. This means putting away all the skimpy outfits and also creating more mature lyrics. This shouldn't be so hard for her to do since she is now a wife and mother. One would think that she would want to portray a more mature and classy image on stage for her daughter.

At some point Beyonce has to realize that she can't keep performing these same old songs and wearing the same old costumes. If she is not careful, her career might go the way of Michael Jackson. 

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