Good reading!

I was getting my “information fix” from iGoogle today and ran across a couple of great articles in the “How to of the Day” gadget (WikiHow’s gadget):

“How to Make a Home Brewery a Commercial Nanobrewery” is not only an in-depth look at doing just what the title suggests, but also reminds you of what I’ve been encouraging my readers to think about — how you can convert a hobby or interest into a business. And, if you become a micro-brewer or nano-brewer, I’d be pleased to sample and review your product. 😉

“How to Use Social Media to Spur Political Change” is a helpfully detailed look at using Facebook, Twitter, etc. to lead people down the path of your political ideals. Additionally, it is a fine blueprint for developing any other ideas through that media, including career and business promotion. It covers the basics, the big picture and a number of little details. I highly recommend that you at least give it a quick scan, unless you’re already quite adept at social media.

While I was at it, I added some gadgets to my iGoogle page. A couple were science magazines. I tend to be a bit of a “science news junkie.” And as I followed some of the headlines, I ended up eventually on a page about employment and career development in the sciences. There I found an excellent resource for general employment and career development advice.

In “Science” magazine, which is a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there’s a section called “Science Careers” and within that section there is a feature called “Tooling Up.” It’s a career advice column written by an executive recruiter, David Jensen. The articles are very, very good. Jensen has a wealth of experience and insight to share and he shares it in a way that makes it easily accessible. His advice applies to a general audience, not merely to employment in the sciences.

All of his articles are well worth the reading, but the first one I ran across was “Playing the Name Game.” It tells you how to search and find the names of and information on the important players and the probable hiring managers in the companies you are hoping will hire you. It is a real “insider’s knowledge” article. It’s one of those pieces of advice that can give you a real edge in getting hired.

Creativity, action, work

Earlier today I wrote an article, “Doing, Making, Working, Empowering.”

I’ve written a number of times of the importance of taking charge and making your own job (usually by starting your own business) when you are unemployed, because it’s essential to your psychological well-being to consistently act to empower yourself.

This time I wanted to write a little something addressed to those who are employed. Those who want to remain employed and want to be happy about it.

So, I explained some of the psychology behind the need for creation and action, the need to make an impact on your world. I wanted to clarify that whether you work for someone else or you work for yourself, if you are a normal, reasonably healthy person, you have a drive to make things or do things that have valuable, visible results.

In order for you to have the kind of impact you want, make the contributions your want, create the results you want to see, you have to be adaptable. You have to constantly improve or “tweak” your skills and abilities. You have to be aware of where you “fit” in the workplace and how to keep your place there or progress further.

The new (cottage) industrial revolution

I read an Associated Press article by Jeannine Aversa and Christopher S. Rugaber on February 5 about unemployment falling to 9 percent in January from 9.8 percent over just two months time. (I read it in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but you could just “Google” the authors and the date and find several versions of it online.)

They attributed this partially to more people opting for self-employment or finding work in small businesses, since big companies aren’t doing much hiring. Wow. Just what I’ve been urging over the last year!

Not only is it a sensible approach in light of the current economy, it also shows that people may be paying attention to the fact that you simply can’t have “jobless recoveries.” After a while, the long-term jobless become too large a group. We need consumers to buy stuff to have a viable economy. Jobless people can’t buy stuff. Duh.

Jobless people also can’t pay rent and utilities. Or credit card bills. Or feed themselves and their kids. Who’s going to support them? Charities? State welfare programs. Yeah. Sure. With all the state governments making big budget cuts because they’re going bankrupt?

No matter what anyone tells you, Americans do have a distinct culture. Historically, two of its major characteristics have been “rugged individualism” and “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.” We’re still pioneers, innovators and creators. We are known for building mega corporations by starting with micro businesses created in our garages.

If you’re still out of work, you don’t need to be out of hope. Necessity is a mother. Join her children in the newest (cottage) industrial revolution.