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  • Careers | Writing, life and other animals
    been that long I ve been working at home for seven years now Wow no pun intended There are countless benefits to working from home but also significant challenges On balance though from a parent s perspective I d have to say I heartily recommend it Here are just a few of the pros and cons I ve encountered over the last seven years The Good The 20 second commute this has to be the number one thing about working from home Listening to the morning traffic report while sipping coffee and contemplating the short stroll across the garden to my home office is one of the highlights of my working day Suit what s a suit when you work from home the only dress code is the one you choose for yourself Time out one of the best things about working from home particularly when you have a young family is the ability to arrange your work to suit you Want a couple of hours off in the afternoon to take the kids to the beach no problem My work is fluid it flows seamlessly around the more important aspects of my life that flexibility is priceless Making a meal of it the dining table is the hub of family life and working from home means I never miss a meal with the family I think that s priceless The Bad Exponential Distraction if you think distractions at the office are bad you should try working at home Children running into the office impromptu visitors emptying the dishwasher weeding the vegetable patch even mowing the lawn I kid you not when you re working on something you don t really enjoy even gardening has its appeal Discipline and deadlines I m a terrible procrastinator It s just the way I m built I need a pressure to kick start my brain into motion that can be a good thing but it also means I let work build up to a critical mass before attacking it That tends to put me and hence the rest of the family under unnecessary pressure You have to be disciplined and that s one of my biggest challenges Isolation working from home means you spend long periods working alone Yes I m in contact with lots of people via e mail the telephone and online every day but it s not the same as meeting face to face That s the main reason I m involved with a local small office home office networking group SOHO Solo www sohosoloireland com and www sohosolowestcork com Meeting other home based workers regularly helps to keep me sane Always on call one of the biggest pluses of working from home is the fact that you re always around your family but it s also one of the biggest challenges It s only natural to prioritise family over work but when you work at home sometimes you can be too available The Ugly Doing the jobs you hate when you re working for yourself you have to look after everything including the jobs you don t like Jobs like sorting out the accounts filing and business administration stuff Yuck Biting off more than you can chew sometimes it s easy to forget you re just one person and you take on more work than you can handle I m getting better at managing my workload now saying no to things Still at home unexpected things always crop up to throw your schedule out of kilter You have to give yourself enough of a buffer to be accommodate that But the best thing about working from home has to be that I get to spend so much time with my children Sometimes that can seem more of a curse than a blessing but on balance there are more ups than downs and as the girls grow up I know the time I m investing now will pay real dividends Technorati Tags Parenting evening echo column working from home Posted by Calvin at 14 58 Be here now Business Careers Children Evening Echo Column Parenting Rant Training No Responses Aug 29 2008 Be here now Three innocuous little words that if you pay them a little heed can be an incredibly powerful force Words that among the myriad distractions of modern life it s all too easy to dismiss I remember the first time I heard them back in the mid nineties I d just got a job as an IT project planner with Transco the pipeline and distribution arm of the former British Gas As part of a massive restructuring programme the company was sending all of its tens of thousands of employees on a training course called You make the difference It was one of those touchy feely American things all about the power of individuals to make a tangible contribution in business and in life designed to boost morale develop soft skills and for the company to ease the acceptance of organisational change Naturally enough most of us were pretty sceptical and it s fair to say on reflection that the course contained more than its fair share of feel good bunkum But it also got you out of work for a couple of days was a lot of fun made you turn the spotlight on yourself to reveal things you otherwise might never see and it has to be said included a couple of real little gems Be here now was one of those gems Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 15 29 Using the internet for Market Research Business Career Moves Column Careers Digital Marketing Internet My Sites Technology Writing No Responses Jun 17 2008 This week s Career Moves is a bit interwebby so I ve posted it over on Digital Marketing Success instead of here It s the first in a series of articles I m doing for the Evening Echo on using the internet for market research when setting up growing a

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/careers/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Employment | Writing, life and other animals
    Digital Marketing co authored with Damian Ryan was release in January by publishers Kogan Page in Ireland the UK and the USA Things are looking exceedingly positive for 2009 there s another book deal in the pipeline and several other projects that will keep me busy well into next year and beyond And the catalyst to all of this was losing my job If you find yourself caught in the cross fire as companies battle to survive the recession try not to despair Yes on the one hand losing your job is a potentially devastating blow but only if you allow it to be The first and perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it s your role rather than you as a person that s being made redundant The fact that your position is no longer required by the organisation isn t a reflection on your ability to do your job Secondly remember that at the end of the day the only thing you ve lost is a job Unlike your family your friends or your health your job is a disposable commodity that can be replaced often by something better Top tips for coping with redundancy Take stock redundancy gives you a great chance to re assess your career your life and what s important to you Look at it as a potential catalyst to bigger and better things something to force you outside your comfort zone and prompt you to take action Talk to other people talking to people you know who ve been through the experience will help You ll be surprised by how many of them look back at their redundancy in a positive light Get what you can many companies only offer the statutory redundancy packages they re obliged to under Irish

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/employment/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Redundancy | Writing, life and other animals
    Digital Marketing co authored with Damian Ryan was release in January by publishers Kogan Page in Ireland the UK and the USA Things are looking exceedingly positive for 2009 there s another book deal in the pipeline and several other projects that will keep me busy well into next year and beyond And the catalyst to all of this was losing my job If you find yourself caught in the cross fire as companies battle to survive the recession try not to despair Yes on the one hand losing your job is a potentially devastating blow but only if you allow it to be The first and perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it s your role rather than you as a person that s being made redundant The fact that your position is no longer required by the organisation isn t a reflection on your ability to do your job Secondly remember that at the end of the day the only thing you ve lost is a job Unlike your family your friends or your health your job is a disposable commodity that can be replaced often by something better Top tips for coping with redundancy Take stock redundancy gives you a great chance to re assess your career your life and what s important to you Look at it as a potential catalyst to bigger and better things something to force you outside your comfort zone and prompt you to take action Talk to other people talking to people you know who ve been through the experience will help You ll be surprised by how many of them look back at their redundancy in a positive light Get what you can many companies only offer the statutory redundancy packages they re obliged to under Irish

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/redundancy/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Meeting the recession head on | Writing, life and other animals
    do you simply can t trust each other to get the job done It s a complete falicy of course a throwback to another age It s time for Ireland Inc to get with the digital programme As a freelance writer I ve worked for many clients over the years without setting foot in their offices or ever meeting them face to face It s worked out spectacularly well for all concerned a win win win It s better for me because I don t have to travel up to Cork Dublin London or further afield it s better for the clients because I spend my billable time writing instead of travelling and it s better for my family because Dad gets to stay at home is around for family mealtimes and never misses a bedtime story When meetings are absolutely necessary have them but take a long hard look at what you re trying to achieve and consider alternatives like Skype and instant messaging collaborative office applications like Google Docs online meeting services like DimDim Wikis and other collaborative online services that can make distributed teams as productive and in many cases much more productive than people sitting in the same office Changing the way we work is something that s difficult to do It requires adjustment of a corporate culture that pervades Ireland s economy and cultural change is always painful and slow But we have a catalyst at work today something that means managers and business owners are much more likely to consider money saving productivity enhancing alternatives to the status quo It s called a recession and it could be just the thing to drag Irish business culture kicking and screaming into the 21st century Let s hope so for the sake of business for the sake of our beleaguered economy and of course for the sake of parents who want to spend more time with their children Be Sociable Share Tweet Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related Posted by Calvin at 16 38 Tagged with Business Business and Economy meetings time 4 Responses to Meeting the recession head on Kevin Micalizzi Dimdim Web Conferencing says 20 March 2009 at 22 18 Calvin Thanks for mentioning Dimdim in your list of alternatives With our free web conferencing you can meet with up to 20 attendees we re making web conferencing accessible to everyone The attitude that you have to meet in person to build a working relationship isn t limited to Ireland but attitudes are changing as people are seeing how much more they can get done rather than spending that time traveling Thanks k Kevin Micalizzi Community Manager Dimdim Web Conferencing e kevin dimdim com twitter dimdim facebook dimdim com facebook Andrew Donnelly says 31 March 2009 at 13 38 Hi Calvin Just to add a suggestion to your collection of free Web

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2009/03/19/meeting-the-recession-head-on/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Multi Tasking | Writing, life and other animals
    Responses May 05 2008 Who do you really work for It s not a trick question it s not that I suspect you re involved in some sort of shady commercial espionage It s a simple straightforward query Do you work for your supervisor Do you work for your line manager Do you work for your HR Department Do you work for your CEO The answer of course is none of the above When you break it down we go to work for ourselves Whether we re self employed working on the shop floor of a high flying executive with a swanky corner office we work to support ourselves our families and the lifestyle we ve chosen to live Work is a means to an end and while you might enjoy or even love what you re doing ultimately it s just a vehicle for your financial security personal achievement and development fulfilment and ultimately happiness Unfortunately we tend to forget all of that We get caught up in the frantic hustle and bustle of working life Long hours stress unrealistic expectations unmanageable workloads and tortuous commutes conspire to erode the very things we re working to secure Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 12 14 Not enough hours Business Career Moves Column Multi Tasking Time management No Responses Apr 28 2008 Published in the Evening Echo 28 04 2008 Do you ever feel that there aren t enough hours in the day Well you d be right Researchers in the US recently discovered that typical middle class city dwellers are cramming 31 hours worth of life into each 24 hour period thanks to multi tasking and an array of time saving gizmos Hands up who s checked their e mail on their laptop or blackberry while making their morning

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/multi-tasking/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Business And Economy | Writing, life and other animals
    spend with their children But if you add up how much time those same working parents spend travelling to waiting for and sitting around in pointless meetings you d be shocked at the results A huge chunk of the working population waste days weeks even every year sitting in meetings And for what To talk about things that could have been discussed on the telephone or online or to listen to things that don t really concern them at all What a waste Sometimes in any business you need the face to face collaborative communication that only a meeting can provide But the truth is those occasions are much rarer than you might think These days days thanks to the internet and the wonders of digital communications technology there s usually an alternative that would work just as well if not better would be quicker and would prevent participants having to travel long distances to attend Ireland just hasn t been open to exploring the opportunities Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 16 38 Tagged with Business Business and Economy meetings time Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/business-and-economy/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Meetings | Writing, life and other animals
    spend with their children But if you add up how much time those same working parents spend travelling to waiting for and sitting around in pointless meetings you d be shocked at the results A huge chunk of the working population waste days weeks even every year sitting in meetings And for what To talk about things that could have been discussed on the telephone or online or to listen to things that don t really concern them at all What a waste Sometimes in any business you need the face to face collaborative communication that only a meeting can provide But the truth is those occasions are much rarer than you might think These days days thanks to the internet and the wonders of digital communications technology there s usually an alternative that would work just as well if not better would be quicker and would prevent participants having to travel long distances to attend Ireland just hasn t been open to exploring the opportunities Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 16 38 Tagged with Business Business and Economy meetings time Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/meetings/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Time | Writing, life and other animals
    it is Time stretches out time compresses time stands still time accelerates Time is indisputably a constant and yet our perception of it is anything but It s fluid dynamic and it drives me insane Take this morning for example I have several deadlines to meet this column for one and I can guarantee that because I have something I need to get done by a given time this morning will zip along at breakneck pace Hours will evaporating faster than I can tap keys on the keyboard But if I was waiting for something then the tables would turn each second minute hour would draw out to eternity Why can t we just see time as the constant it is What cruel twist of evolution instructed our brain to twist it so To what end How is it helpful in the slightest The one consolation I guess is that this happens to everyone There s never enough time when there s something you need to get finished and there s always too much time when you re waiting around for something to happen It s a universal illusion that affects the entire human race Time marches along its merry way at the same pace regardless of what s happening in our lives but somehow knowing that doesn t seem to help Our perception of time fluctuates enormously and that s never truer than when you have children They imperceptibly steal huge chunks of your day getting them ready for school helping with homework resolving the inevitable disputes and occasionally averting all out warfare all take time Some days it seems that I only have to blink and it s bedtime and another huge chunk of time falls into the temporal black hole that is parenthood With work jobs around the house and the inexorable demands of parenthood to deal with it s little wonder that 2009 is disappearing fast I hardly seem to have drawn breath since Christmas and without warning it s March How did that happen To say it s been a blur would be an understatement but the real issue looking back at the first two months of this year is that I can t really remember spending quality time with the family A stolen hour here an afternoon there but certainly not enough and always with the distraction of a busy life lurking on the periphery of my subconscious I m self employed and work from home a conscious decision to give me the flexibility to spend more time with my family Somewhere along the line the pressures of earning a crust and the duplicitous nature of time have contrived to steal that away It ends here If you can t make the time to go to the beach with the kids to take an hour in the evening to read with them to play the occasional mindless game just for the hell of it to share in the boundless fun and enthusiasm of their

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/time/ (2016-02-15)
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