I Can’t Afford a Kindle, iPad, or eBook Reader?

I love this excuse for not having a Kindle or some type of eBook reader at this point. A better excuse would be that “I don’t want an eBook reader”, that would at least make a more intelligent argument, at least for those of us who live in the United States. The price of a Kindle is now down to $114 (with coupon). I have found that a majority of Kindle books, whether you read them on the iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle, or on your free desktop app, are often 50-75% cheaper than paper.

That means if you read… books… at all… any particular device you choose will pay for itself within time. Take the percentage savings on current books. If you buy 10 books at regular paperback price, say $14.99 to $19.99 (I am talking about new releases here), they often will have a Kindle book on sale for $4.99 to $6.99, especially if you pre-order. That is a savings of $10 per book or $100. So if you read more than 10 books a year (I understand many people at this point don’t) you will have your Kindle paid for by the time you hit the 11th book?

It’s simple math. The more you read, the more you will save in the price of books. Perhaps if you only read 1 or 2 books a year buying a Kindle or iPad won’t save you any money, but don’t tell me you “can’t afford” to buy a Kindle or iPad like all those “rich” people. If you live in this country that’s like saying you can’t afford a washing machine or a dish washer. It’s simple economics. If you read, you will spend more money on paper books than the price of the eBook reader itself. Just tell me you don’t want one, or you have moral issues with the digital consumerism, or you don’t want to partake in the evil of Apple, or something, but don’t tell me you can’t afford to buy one if you are an avid book reader, that’s just an excuse.

Auburn Tigers Football A-Day Game Photos for 2010

So today was Auburn’s annual crazy day football game in the middle of Spring (A-day or Aday game) when everyone comes to see the new team and all that. The last few years it has been who can get more fans to a game in the middle of Spring while playing each other, Auburn or Alabama. I think this time Alabama gets the crazy award for having the most fans show up, and for ESPN to broadcast it they must get an additional crazy award themselves.

The highlight this year was not actually the football but the fact that we were able to get in to the new Basketball arena, the Auburn Arena as it is so called. This basketball season is one that many of us have been waiting for, for years, and this 2010-2011 season is set to open in a brand new $100 million (give or take) arena. Sorry the photos are so low-res, all I brought with me for some reason was my cell phone. The last photo of the construction area is still my favorite so far this year.

It was still really great to get to see the new arena in person. Can’t wait for the first basketball game.

Telecommuting Can Save Your Business Money

Some of you may or may not know that I have been looking for a good job match in a full time IT related field for about 3-4 years now (yes I said years). So far, it has been one of the most frustrating ongoing experiences I have had in business.

I have been denied a lowly $7-9/hour job to work out of my home office because I had too much experience, and have turned down a $60,000 job because it wasn’t a good match between my personality and their culture.  There is nothing easy about finding a good career match any more, and I have a lot to offer a company.  Almost 20 years of business experience, education, flexibility, a low required salary, and a willingness to travel.  See also my post Top 5 Tips to Help Your Job Search.

How I Can Save Your Business Money

What is astonishing to me, is how many potential employers will not look at the possibility of having a professional (and I mean that in every sense of the word) work out of their home office when the typical IT job really doesn’t require a physical presence in an office, or anywhere for that matter.  I understand some do, and that’s fine, but not all by any stretch.

It’s simple math.  If I can be hired to do a job in a middle-income American city for $50,000, which requires me to move, I can do the exact same job from my home office for $40,000.  That’s $10,000 a year in payroll expenses your company doesn’t have to pay.  Computer equipment they don’t have to buy, phones, office space, parking, gas, and food that doesn’t have to be purchased.  If your company has a tight budget and really needs to control expenses, why ignore this potential savings?

My Office is Better Equipped Than Most Office Buildings

How old is your office equipment? What tools are you missing to get your job done in an effective and efficient manner?

I have 4 different phone lines/numbers I can use including a landline, cellular, and VoIP.  A network of 5-6 computers (PC and MAC), laptops, desktops, mobiles devices, a reliable 6M high speed DSL line, 10 TB of data storage (yes Tera), data backups, and my office is even wired for a 20KW backup generator in case of power failure with 250 gallons of propane on site.  I am probably better equipped and better prepared than the standard office building in middle America.

With that said, I have no problem going out of city or state for the right position, it will just cost everyone more money.

What Comes Around (To Get Down, Timo Maas)

This week I had a few different conversations with potential employers, some very promising.  One of these companies was so unique in the way they required applicants to submit information I decided to go the extra mile and respond to their creativeness with creativity by making a portfolio video.  Videos like this are nothing new but I made it specifically for them for an added personal touch.

Below is the video, (with the names removed to protect the innocent of course), but if you are one of those out there looking for a job, don’t just do the exact same thing that all the other applicants do, that accomplishes nothing but allowing yourself to blend in.  Be creative, stand out, showcase your skills.  Not all employers will appreciate this approach for sure, but a company looking for a Linchpin instead of a door knob will.

See the full size version of The Portfolio Project here.

Top 5 Tips to Help Your Job Search in this Economy

In my ongoing pursuit of the perfect full time employer I have compiled more information than I could possibly have imagined a few years ago.  I could probably write an HR book called HR, the Good the Bad, the Ugly but I am sure someone else has beat me to it.  After writing a post about a recent interview I decided to put down a few quick tips I learned just in case someone else out there is also looking for that perfect match.

The Match-Making Job Market of 2010 Is Fluid

Today is a different market than even just five years ago.  Potential employers are doing more with less, and are in no hurry to bring on a new hire that may or may not be an exact match with the company’s existing culture.  As a potential employee, I am also just as picky when it comes to looking at a potential employer.  I don’t just want any job, I want a good match, but in 2010 it’s more like online dating or match-making than job hunting.  Don’t just automatically jump on the first offer, really look at what kind of match you are with the company culture, business model, and their clients.

Flooding the Market with Resumes Doesn’t Work, Be Creative

I have sent in hundreds of resumes, made countless followup calls, gone out of my way to not be in the way when needed, met tons of new people, offered to move to all over California (my native land), Texas, Florida (wife’s preference), New York, Wisconsin, Montana (those two were a stretch), Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky.  Yet, it’s the end of another week of meeting new people, making new connections, learning new companies, and waiting.  One thing I have learned, flooding the market with resumes doesn’t work.

If you want to be seen, you need to do something creative and unique.  Don’t just do the same old thing that everyone else does, that doesn’t do any good at all.  Find a unique way to stand out to the HR person or hiring manager.  For an example of what I did this week see this video I did for How I Can Save Your Business Money.

Become a Major League Scout in Your Search

You need to seek out new prospects like a scout looks at potential minor league players.  Traditional job sites like Monster have been almost worthless to me.  Today, employers will post on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, craigslist, and on their own websites.  Where are the creative companies posting their new positions?  Don’t limit yourself to finding a great job by only looking on the traditional websites.

Do Your Own Research, Don’t Just Skim the Surface

When you do get an Interview, phone or otherwise, do you know more about the company than the HR person?  Impossible?  Not at all, and many times I have known far more about the details of a company than even their own employees do.  Do your own research, and dig deep.  A good example is to look at the company on LinkedIn.  Look at their current employees on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (are they happy with their job), their former employees (why did they leave, where are they now), and all the associated websites you can find.

Keep in mind your potential employer is doing the same research on you.  Don’t give them a stupid reason like a photo on Facebook to hire someone else.

Don’t Try To Hide, Control Your Internet Footprint

If you are on Facebook and you hide your account from a potential employer they will probably wonder what you are trying to hide, and if there is good reason, perhaps fixing that first would be a good idea.  I have created a one stop shop on Google where potential employers could find out every thing there is to know about me (http://www.scottfillmer.me), professionally and personally, and from there they can find their website of choice without having to give them 10 different places to look.  You can still be publically seen and control your private information, just use common sense.

What are your favorite job search tips?