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Career Planning – Winning the Performance Review Game

Career Planning – Winning the Performance Review Game

Q. My performance review was disappointing, although I've had two promotions in the last four years. My boss said I needed to work on showing more leadership skills when I'm working on a team. When I try to pin him down for a discussion, he brushes me aside.

A. As you move up the ladder, you'll be expected to work on your own, with less and less feedback and direction.

A lack of feedback can be a sign that you're trusted and respected. You're expected to read between the lines and interpret unwritten signals.

Start with these three questions:

Q1. What is your company's culture around performance reviews?

In some cultures, you're expected to take a negative review in stride. Responding will be viewed as defensive and insecure behavior. Other cultures value discussion and at least the appearance of openness.

Q2. What signals are you sending?

Your boss needs to know that you're willing to talk tough. You can say something like, "Do not worry about hurting my feelings. Then act on your promise.

You may say, "I'm happy with my review – just trying to learn. Can you give me some specific examples of situations where I could have demonstrated more leadership?

Q3. What's the unwritten message?

Your boss may be absolutely delided with your performance, but the rules (formal or informal) require him to include negative along with positive feedback. So he thread in some comments about leadership, which does not amount to much.

The key is to take your performance review in context. If you're receiving tangible recognition – increased responsibility, invitations to key meetings, attention from major players – you'll appear insecure if you worry about your performance review. But if you're getting warning signals – missed meetings, weaker assignments – you need to understand what's really going on. …

Diamond Education and Guide: Princess Shape Diamond

Diamond Education and Guide: Princess Shape Diamond

The Princess cut is called a square or rectangular modified brilliant in GIA grading reports. It is the most popular fancy shaped diamond. Its beautiful brilliance and unique cut makes it a favorite for engagement rings. It may have either 50 facets, 21 crown, 4 girdle, 25 pavilion, or 58 facets, 21 crown, 4 girdle, 33 pavilion, depending on how the pavilion is cut.

This cut is most frequently a square shape where the length to width ratio is 1.0 to 1.1. The princess cut tend to be the smallest of the shapes for the same carat weight since the cut is basically an upside down pyramid with most of the carat weight in the pavilion or bottom of the stone.

Princess Shape diamonds are for people who love the sparkle and brilliance associated with round shape diamonds, but prefer the shape of a square. With Princess Shape diamonds, one does have to sacrifice the fire that the Asscher and Emerald Shape diamonds often forget. In Fact, the Princess Shape diamond can be just as dazzling as an idealally proportional Round Shape diamond, with lots of light and sparkle.

A Round Brilliant Solitaire ring seems to be the most popular shape right now for engagement rings, but many people are deviating from this trend and choosing a Princess Shape diamond. This will look spectacular by itself as a solitaire or can be paired with other shape diamonds to create a really inspiring beautiful jewelry ring. …

See Yourself in a Visual Communications Career

See Yourself in a Visual Communications Career

Visual communication is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Primarily associated with two-dimensional images, it includes: art, signs, photography, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, color and electronic resources.

Visual communication encompasses a great deal of areas. It covers disciplines such as computer animation, web design, and graphic design, and uses those art forms to convey a message or purpose. Visual communications professionals work in areas such as marketing and advertising, graphic design, and animation. Visual communications is grounded in technical knowledge. Professionals with training in this area develop traditional and computer-driven design skills from project conceptualization to production techniques. The field of visual communications is rapidly changing and to be effective you will need to stay on top of the latest trends in the field. With new technologies emerging every year, you will need to stay on top of industry trends.

Training:

In visual communications degree programs you will learn the basics of design principles, computer illustration and creative visualization. Classes will teach you to use visual communication techniques for advertising and presentations. You will need to direct your existing creative abilities to communicate with the technology and media used in the profession. Additional coursework will teach web design, graphic design, and animation techniques, as well as a variety of computer programs.

Jobs in Visual Communications:

Jobs in visual communications include commercial art and design, desktop publishing, web design, 3-D animation, multimedia development and video production. Jobs in this industry tend to be very competitive. Artists and related workers both salaried and freelance exceeded the number of available jobs in this area. Only the highest qualified candidates will find employment in this area. …

Does Technology Benefit Young Children's Education?

Does Technology Benefit Young Children's Education?

As parents, all of us have bought the battle with our kids as they are absorbed into a video game or movie on an iPad, tablet or smartphone. We've had a better chance of getting the attention of Tom Cruise walking the red carpet than our kids.

Today, it's common for two-year-olds to be using iPads, elementary schoolers hooked up to video games, and we all suffer (or live with) the challenge of prying your middle-schooler away from the computer long enough to eat a decent meal …

Technology is everywhere and its draw on kids is obvious, but is technology helping our kids learn?
Technology is becoming more social, adaptive, and customized, and as a result, it can be a fantastic teaching tool. That stated, as parents, we need to establish boundaries.

Today, software is connecting kids to online learning communities, tracking kids 'progress through lessons and games, and customizing each students' experience.

By the time your child is in elementary school, they will probably well-versed in technology.

Learning with Technology at School
Schools are investing more and more in technology. Whether your child's class uses an interactive Smartboard, laptops, or another device, here are three ways to make sure that technology is used effectively.

Young children love playing with technology, from iPads to digital cameras. What do early child practiceers – and parents, too – need to think about before handing kids these gadgets?

Let's start at the beginning: what is technology in early childhood?
Technology can be as simple as a camera, audio recorder, music player, TV, DVD player, or more recent technology like iPads, tablets, and smartphones used in child care centers, classes, or at home.

More than once, I've had teachers tell me, "I do not do technology." I ask them if they've ever taken a digital photo of their students, played a record, tape, or DVD, or give kids headphones to listen to a story.

Teachers have always used technology. The difference is that now teachers are using really powerful tools like iPads and iPhones in their personal and professional lives.

Technology is just a tool.
It should not be used in classrooms or child care centers because it's cool, but because teachers can do activities that support the healthy development of children.

Teachers are using digital cameras – a less flashy technology than iPads – in really creative ways to engage children in learning. That may be all they need.

At the same time, teachers need to be able to integrate technology into the classroom or child care center as a social justice matter.

We can not assume that all children have technology at home.

A lack of exposure could widen the digital divide – that is, the gap between those with and without access to digital technology – and limit some children's school readiness and early success.

Just as all children need to learn how to handle a book in early literacy, they need to be taught how to use technology, including …

The Science of Getting Rich – 7 Principles From Chapter Thirteen

The Science of Getting Rich – 7 Principles From Chapter Thirteen

"Getting Into the Right Business"

In his book, "Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $ 100 Million in No Time Flat," author Michael Masterson says that one of the biggest mistakes that new business owners make is choosing a business they know nothing about. This is a sure path to failure. Start with what you know and build a business from there. You will not only succeed, you will succeed faster.

These seven principals will help you in choosing the business that is right for you:

1. To get into the right business, you need the knowledge for that business.

"Go with what you know." Most people, when starting a new business, do not realize they are sitting on a goldmine of information. By mining the information you already have in your mind, you may start your business faster because you do not have to do a lot of research. You'll also have a wealth of information for creating products.

2. Having the right knowledge and skills does not guarantee your success.

Even if you already have the necessary talent, it does not guarantee you will succeed. Hollywood is a good example where some people who have tremendous talent but for whatever reason does not become box office sensations.

If something comes really easy to you, it's a natural talent. To succeed, you must not only cultivate that talent, but you also need to use that talent. Never stop developing and improving your talent.

3. You have to use the tools you have in the right way.

It's not enough to use your talents to succeed. You must use them in the right way. If you are not using them in the right way, you either need to further develop those talents, or you need to learn how to use them properly to succeed.

4. You can get rich in any business, but you will have to develop your tools along the way.

If you do decide to start a business on a topic you know nothing about, your first step is to develop the knowledge and tools you need to succeed as you go along.

Read everything you can on the topic you are interested in. Do your research and find out if there is a market for what you want to do. Do not waste your time developing products, or yourself, in topics no one is interested in knowing about.

5. Do something you want to do.

No one wants to do things that hate doing. When you choose a business, choose something you are interested in and will enjoy doing. Do not waste your time on a business you have no interest in because you heard it's a great way to make money. If you're not interested in it, you will not take action.

6. The best way to change your business environment is through growth.

If you want to change from one business to another, or you want to start your own business and leave your job, …

The Film Career of Orson Welles

The Film Career of Orson Welles

RKO pictures offered Orson Welles what is often provided to be the greatest contract ever offered to an untried director – complete artistic control. But then again Welles was no ordinary untried director – he already had the most admirable, innovative and inspiring of theater and radio careers behind him. For his first feature he divorced Citizen Kane (1941) out of the hat, it is more often than not acclaimed as the greatest film ever made. It contains many technical innovations including the extended use of deep focus, low angle shots, pioneering special effects make-up and a layered and complex soundtrack.

Welles' second film for RKO was The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Booth Tarkington, it made a loss as did his South American documentary It's All True, Welles found on his return that no Hollywood studio would hire him . In 1946, International Pictures guave him a budget and he produced The Stranger (1946), although Welles' most imaginative sequences were cut out leaving a very conventional film, it was successful at the box office but Welles swore that he would no longer play ball without he had full creative control. He managed to gain what he desired but his consequent Around the World in Eighty Days (1946) and The Lady From Shanghai (1947) were financial disasters. Republic Pictures wave it a meagre budget to direct Macbeth (1948) but this too proved to be a disaster at the box office and Welles departed for Europe. In 1949 he starred as Harry Lime in Carol Reed's The Third Man which was an international hit.

From 1949 to 1951, Welles worked on Othello, he kept having to abandon filming due to lack of funds when it ever premiered at the Cannes Film Festival it won the Palme D'Or. In 1956, he returned to Hollywood, producing Man in the Shadow (1957) and Touch of Evil (1958) for Universal Studios. …

Business Planning For College Students and First-Time Entrepreneurs

Business Planning For College Students and First-Time Entrepreneurs

More and more students, both in undergraduate and graduate institutions, are deciding to launch their own ventures upon graduation rather than taking the traditional route of working for another firm. Likewise, more and more individuals are leaving their jobs to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams.

While these ventures may ultimately be very successful (e.g., Google and Microsoft were both launched by students), they face certain challenges in their business plans and capital raising processes. The foremost challenge is overcoming the lack of experience of the management team. A classis chicken-and-egg problem presents itself – the management team has no past company successes to point to, and can’t prove itself unless given the opportunity to launch the business. While this problem is nearly always the case for graduating students, it also presents itself to many entrepreneurs, particularly those who are launching their first ventures.

To overcome this challenge, these ventures must represent themselves as having a great team by attracting a stellar management team and/or advisors. By attracting a quality management team, even if the team will not start until after financing, it gives investors that confidence that the plan will be properly executed. It also proves that the entrepreneurs have the ability to “sell” others on their vision. The management team need not be complete before seeking capital, since additional members will most likely be added after capital is raised. For instance, shortly after Google raised capital from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Omid Kordestani left Netscape to accept a position as vice president of business development and sales, and Urs Hölzle was hired away from UC Santa Barbara as vice president of engineering.

Attracting high-quality advisors builds great credibility since if respected individuals are willing to risk their reputations by taking an advisory position, the venture must have some merit. Advisors can also help with the execution of the business and sometimes will also provide the needed capital. In Google’s case, when no major portal was interested in partnering with or funding the company, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were able to convince Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, to become an advisor and investor. Bechtolsheim contributed the initial $100,000 to the company.

Even if the venture is able to attract quality management teams and advisors, it will always be at a disadvantage versus other ventures headed by entrepreneurs who have “been there, done that” successfully in the past. To compensate for this, these ventures must really know their customers, know their market and know their competition. By possessing an in depth knowledge of the external factors that will effect the company’s success, the entrepreneurs can both create a solid business strategy and convince investors that an opportunity really exists. If the opportunity truly exists, then investors know that even if the venture is initially mismanaged, then they can hire additional managers later to put it back on course.

In summary, when students or first time entrepreneurs, begin developing their business strategies and plans, …