Green careers, time management and book writing

""Are you familiar with the Great Green Careers job board? I just read about it in a Mother Earth News newsletter. If you’re looking for a job, remember that “going green” is a current trend and there are not only jobs for those with particular “green” skills (like geotechnical technicians, hydrologists, solar installers, etc.) but also for administrative and clerical workers, managers, publicists and other support services. Just as in every other field.

Hey, I say that if you can find a job in a fast growing field, you’ve got a better chance of developing a career path than in a field of the same old, same old.

Try them out. Like most other job boards, there’s no charge for job hunters. And they’ll send you a green career guide just for signing up. Go to

Also, a quick update on a couple of articles I published to since my last post here:

Thinking about jobs and career, Paula Eder has some tips for being proactive rather than reactive in managing your time. In, “Time Management Tips to Proactively Take Charge of Your Time,” she points out that most of us get distracted from our good time management intentions by other people’s urgencies. Getting trapped in other people’s disorganization is no different than being disorganized yourself.

For those of you wanting to write a book or ebook to establish your expertise — or just to sell as a product — Stephanie Chandler has some tips to get you going or speed up your process. In “How to Write Your Non-Fiction Book in 60 Days: 8 Steps to Get it Out of Your Head and on to Paper,” her tips are directed primarily to actually getting a printed book finished. But, her advice works just as well for an ebook. You simply need fewer pages for a book specifically designed to be an ebook.

Old classic book download

Here’s another entry in the old books with good information for today: “Business.” The volume is a collection of essays written by various experts in the field and edited by Andrew Carnegie. (Who also contributed.) Yes. The famous Andrew Carnegie.

This is part of a ten volume series on vocations, published around the beginning of the last century. The series was directed toward young people (young men primarily.) The volumes were among the earliest employment/business self-guidance books published. The entire series covered business, mechanics, farming and forestry, the professions (only three), public service, education, literature, music and entertainment, the fine arts and … homemaking. (See, they did have something for the girls!)

In “Business,” the authors cover a range of thought on the general principles of business in the first section of the book, and look at specific jobs in specific industries in the second section. All are verbally illustrated by relevant stories of experiences in business.

Not only are the ideas and philosophies of historical interest, they are also surprisingly close to many ideas of today. And have certainly influenced business thinking today. I would have been rolling on the floor laughing at Carnegie’s description of the wonderful benefits of growing up in poverty, if I hadn’t heard them out of the mouths of people still living. Seriously.

Nevertheless, this post is about business, not sociology. So, let’s leave it at the notion that you’ll learn a lot about how business men and women thought and how they still sometimes think. Knowing what went before may spark some new ideas for you now.

Download the book now:

Old book recommended and reviewed: The Principles of Scientific Management

Here’s another book to download from my Old Books Recommended list. As I mentioned in my last post on the subject, this time I’m giving you a brief review.

One of the difficulties in studying management is that we often are told about the classic writers and thinkers in the field, but we do not read them directly. We’ve read (or heard) about them. But we haven’t read them. So, we get our teachers’ and other writers’ interpretations of their contributions. And, often, we get misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

One of the often-misrepresented classic authors in business is Frederick Taylor, who, among other things, wrote The Principles of Scientific Management.

In The Principles of Scientific Management, Taylor detailed the how and why of the ways industry was run in his day and his ideas on how to improve it. He’s thought to have been the first management consultant of modern industry. His stories are vivid and interesting. His ideas are plain, logical and easy to understand. He sometimes gets a bit dry or repetitive, but you can skip over those parts and still get plenty out of his work.

(Let me warn you, though: he states plainly his own personal biases about people. Biases that — thankfully — wouldn’t be published today. Take him in the context of his own time and realize that some of the ways he describes people were perfectly acceptable in his day. I’m sorry they were. But I’m not going to edit his work. I’m just going to give you a free copy. You can x-out anything offensive.)

He is best known for the four principles he outlined for scientific management. He suggested (and I summarize from the entire text, rather than copying the short introductory list from the book):

1. Observe, measure and analyze the process a worker goes through to do his work. Break the process down into task elements. Find the most efficient method to accomplish each element of the task.

2. Hire the employees most suited for the tasks you want them to do and train them thoroughly in your methods for doing the tasks.

3. Supervise the employees closely. Be patient and work with them in a cooperative manner. Correct their mistakes and retrain as necessary.

4. Recognize that half of the work process is the responsibility of management. Training, supervision and cooperation in getting the job done is as important as the actual tasks themselves. That is why the supervisor is held as accountable as the workers if the job is not done right or well.

Taylor’s time/task studies were meticulous and revealing. They did show how establishing work methods and standards, systematizing and considerate, cooperative supervising could add both better speed and quality to the work processes. His ideas work well for businesses both large and small.

Download your copy:
The Principles of Scientific Management.