RSS

Tag Archives: Australia

Hate Your Job? Here’s How to Fix It

When we’re in a terrible job we think we’re the only person who is in a terrible job, and everyone else loves their job, and everyone’s life is great, and our life is terrible. But, in fact, every single person, no matter where they are in their life now, has had a job that they hated.

The only people who don’t have jobs they hate are people who don’t take any risks and end up having terrible careers, because part of a good career path is having moved through a job that you hate.

Here are three steps to make a horrible job good.

1. Befriend the best-networked person in the company.

The problem with a really terrible job is that it doesn’t have the three things that are most important in a job, which are engaging work, manageable goals, and control over your results. So what you need to do is create your own engaging work with manageable goals. So do that by deciding that you’re going to be friends with the person who is most able to help you get this job. Look around the company and decide who’s got the most potential.

The worse the company is, the quicker it will be to find this person, because people with huge potential don’t stay at terrible companies, so odds are, there’s only one to find. Find your one person, and then each day do one thing to get closer to that person.

There is a wide range of steps you can take that, usually in the how‑to‑get‑a‑mentorcategory. Even if you don’t want this person as a mentor, the best way to get someone to pay attention to you is to let him know that you admire him and want help from him. So act like you want a mentor and your job will suddenly become meaningful because you might actually get a mentor.

2. Look for the most terribly managed areas of the company and fix them.

A tell‑tale sign of a horrible job is that it’s a horrible company, and a tell‑tale sign of a horrible company is that almost every single thing is managed terribly. Usually what has happened when things are so terrible is that someone ruined a project and then dumped it.

So in the terrible company there are dumped projects everywhere. You should pick one up and start fixing it. Even if you can only fix it a tiny little bit, on your resume it’s going to look really good. It will say increased efficiency 20 percent, increased revenue 21 percent, decreased staffing costs 30 percent, because it’s really easy to have this type of achievement when you’re dealing with complete stupidity at the onset.

3. Start rewriting your resume.

At a horrible company there’s no accountability, and when there’s no accountability you can do nothing all day, and that really opens up your schedule. The first thing you should do with your open schedule is to start job hunting, but do it in a systematic way.

Go find the job that you want and make lists of all the bullets they say that they want from somebody who’s qualified. Move all of those bullets onto your resume and say to yourself, “How can I make these bullets true on my resume?” So each day is a game to try to make one of those bullets true by doing things that nobody cares

 

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Forget B-School – Boil An Egg On An Offshore Oil Rig And Get $240,000 A Year

It was the cook who did it. After years of claim and counter claim that Australia was pricing itself out of the raw materials business, a pay claim which would see a cook on an offshore oil and gas rig paid $240,000 a year proved the point about out-of-control costs.

Even the Australian Resources Minister and lifetime union member, Gary Gray, declined to defend the high pay rates on resource projects, particularly offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments.

“We do have unreasonably wage demands in the LNG industry,” Gray told an oil and gas conference in Brisbane yesterday.

A former senior executive with the Australian oil and gas producer, Woodside Petroleum , Gray knows what he is talking about, but the fact that he said it is the real news because he is a member of a pro-labor government and some of his colleagues do not agree with him.

But, even the government’s staunchest defender of high union pay claims, the Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, had trouble maintaining his position when it was pointed out that the cook’s pay claim for working on the $34 billion Ichthys LNG project meant he would have a fatter pay packet than the Minister.

“A cook on an oil rig gets paid more money than Anthony Albanese, if he thinks that’s the way we remain internationally competitive he’s on his own,” said Opposition Resources spokesman, Ian Macfarlane.

The latest debate about pay rates occurred at the annual conference of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), where Gray was among friends and other speakers who picked up where he left off.

One of those was Peter Voser, retiring chief executive of the oil major Royal Dutch Shell , another was Roy Krzywosinski, managing director of Chevron Australia, the local arm the U.S. oil major, Chevron Corporation.

Krzywosinski said that while Australia was in the middle of an LNG-project building boom valued at $160 billion, high costs and high government approval hurdles meant that another $100 billion of LNG projects hung in the balance.

“Governments and industry must make changes now to capture the second wave of investment. There is an 18-to-24 month window in which to do so,” Krzywosinski said.

Voser focused on the need to improve tax policies and government regulation if Australia was to continue attracting investment in its resources sector.

The outlook for new projects in Australia has dimmed since growth in China, the country’s major customer for its exports of iron ore, coal and LNG, started to slow and internal costs exploded leading to the cancellation of a number of proposed developments, including the $40 billion Browse LNG project which has Woodside and Shell as its major investors.

With the cooling in proposed new resource investment has come a series of reality checks, including a sharp fall in the value of the Australian dollar, and a decline in the demand for labor

Forecasts of a shortage of skilled and unskilled workers had led to an international recruiting drive, but have more recently given way to a preference for local labor.

Even Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, who had won approval to import up to 1,700 foreign workers for her $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore mine is now expected to recruit locally – though she will probably be offering pay rates well below the $240,000 demanded by the Ichthys cook.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Working Women Liberate The Corporate Bottom Line

hiercheuseAustralia’s mining industry promises job opportunities and the highest wages of any sector in the country, with average wages of $2,388.20 and an average hourly rate of $52.30, according to the ABS Employee Earnings and Hours Report.

Yet, despite the job opportunity, despite the high wages, and despite the skills shortages that make the industry unlikely to turn away anyone who can provide the necessary expertise, women still make up less than 15% of Australia’s mining workforce.

A factory at half capacity

In a speech at his annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, none other than Warren Buffet (the expert on good investments) claimed that the world was overlooking the most valuable investment of all by not doing more to incorporate women into male-dominated industries.

Buffest described the current state of society as being akin to a factory operating at only 50% capacity, and said that he can only imagine what humanity could achieve without having one hand tied behind its back.

Historic stigmas within certain industries need to be overcome, and greater support needs to be provided in childcare, as studies show that the salary gap between men and women widens to about 40% ten to fifteen years into their careers, which is the point at which many women start taking time off to care for children.

Tim Toohey, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, claimed that incorporating more women into the workforce could contribute a further AU$180 billion to the Australian economy. Although there has been progress over the past 30 years, when only one in three Australian workers were female, the rate of female participation in the workforce still stands at only 59%. The mining industry is one of many sectors that will benefit from efforts to increase that number.

Breaking down social barriers

The solution begins at a grassroots level, in the educational institutions, where greater effort needs to be made to encourage female participation in engineering and other technology-related courses.

Currently only 18.2% of Bachelor of Mining Engineering graduates are women, according to Graduate Careers Australia. They make up a small proportion of the 250 mining engineering graduates per year – a figure that needs to be more than doubled to meet the demand for skills.

So, what is it that prevents women from joining the mining workforce?

The industry may be eager to welcome women now, but the social effects of their historical exclusion from the industry still need to be undone. Then there is the fact that having children makes women reluctant to pursue careers which require them to work at remote locations.

Whatever the predominant issues, they need to be addressed. The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is an initiative established by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), which aims to do exactly that. Their aim is to increase female participation in the mining industry from 13.4% to at least 25% by 2020. Doing so will require measures to help them overcome both the social and economic obstacles.

Newmont Mining Corporation has taken steps towards this by encouraging female participation at their gold mine in Boddington. They invited local women to drive haul trucks while their children were at school and the truck drivers were taking their breaks. Of course, AWRA has higher aspirations for women in the industry then part-time truck driving, but it’s a means of at least encouraging female participation, and allowing women in the area to familiarize themselves with the mining working environment.

With 90,000 resource industry jobs estimated to be created by 2016, it’s necessary to address the issues brought about by the exclusion of women from the workforce if these industries are to achieve their full potential. These issues should have been addressed long before now, but perhaps having economic incentive to do so will make people more motivated to do something about it.

Featured images:

Matthew Flax writes for Now Learning, a tertiary education portal that promotes TAFE courses in Western Australia (WA), as well as a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including mining engineering, throughout the country.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Transitioning from CEO to Retiree: Why You Need a 5-Year Plan

retirement13 Steps You Can Take Now to Realize Your Goals

Today’s 50-something CEOs tend to have vague dreams of  more fishing, traveling or sailing  when they retire, but they don’t know when that might be so they haven’t begun planning for it.

That’s a mistake, say a trio of specialists: wealth management advisor Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo, CPA Jim Kohles, and estate planning attorney John Hartog.

“Whether you’re selling your company, passing it along to a successor or simply retiring, that’s a potentially irreversible life event – you’ve got just one chance to get it right,” says Ashoo, CEO of Pillar Wealth Management, (www.pillarwm.com).

A 2012 survey of CEOs by executive search firm Witt/Kieffer found 71 percent of those aged 55 to 59 have no retirement plan, although 73 percent look forward to more recreational and leisure activities when they let go of the reins.

“A lot of baby boomers have the idea that they’re just going to work till they stop working,” says Kohles, chairman of RINA accountancy corporation, (www.rina.com). “If they hope to do certain things in retirement and maintain a certain lifestyle, they’re likely to end up disappointed.”

Planning for the transition from CEO to retiree should incorporate everything – including what happens to your assets after you’re gone, adds John Hartog of Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law, (www.hartogbaer.com).

“Many of my clients worry about what effects a large inheritance will have on their children – they want to continue parenting from the grave. You can, but should think hard about doing that,” he says.

The three say smart planning requires coordinating among all of your advisors; that’s the best way to avoid an irrevocable mistake. With that in mind, Ashoo, Kohles and Hartog offer these suggestions and considerations from their respective areas of expertise:

1. Ashoo: Identify your specific lifestyle goals for retirement, so you can plan for funding them. To determine how much money you’ll need, you have to have a clear picture of what you want, Ashoo says. Do you see yourself on your own yacht? Providing seed capital for your children to buy a business? Pursuing charitable endeavors?

Each goal will have a dollar amount attached, and you (or your advisor) can then determine whether it’s feasible and, if so, put together a financial plan.

“But you can’t just create a plan and forget it. You need to monitor its progress regularly and make adjustments to make sure you’re staying on course, just like you would if you were sailing or flying,” Ashoo says. “We run our clients’ plans quarterly.“

It’s also imperative that you don’t take any undue risks – that is, risks beyond what’s necessary to meet your goals, he says. “You may hear about a great investment opportunity and want in on it, but if you lose that money, you may not have a chance to make it up.”

2. Kohles: Don’t sell yourself short when selling your business. “If you’re banking on money from the sale of your business, know that it’s unlikely you’ll have investors just waiting with the cash for the chance to buy it when you’re ready to sell,” Kohles says.

Buyers are more likely to offer to pay over time from the company’s future earnings — which leaves the retired CEO with no control over the business and utterly reliant on the new owners to maintain its profitability.

A good alternative is to establish an S corporation combined with an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), Kohles says.

“You’re selling the company to the employees while retaining control until you phase yourself completely out,” he says. “The ESOP doesn’t pay income taxes – the employees do when they retire. And you don’t pay taxes on the money or the stock that you contribute.”

3. Hartog: What do you want your kids’ inheritance to say? If you have children, this decision can change their lives for the better – or the worse.

“How your assets are disposed of should reflect your values,” Hartog says. “A lot of people prefer to think in terms of taxes at the expense of values. I advise against that.”

For children, incentive trusts can encourage, or discourage, certain behaviors.

“If you’re concerned your adult child won’t be productive if he has a lot of money, set up a trust that will make distributions equal to what the child earns himself,” Hartog says.

“Or, if you want to be supportive of a child who’s doing something socially responsible, like teaching in an impoverished area, you can set it up to pay twice his salary.”

There are many creative ways to establish trusts, Hartog says. Plan about five years out and change the trust as life events dictate.

About Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo

Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo is the CEO of Pillar Wealth Management, LLC, in Walnut Creek, Calif. The firm specializes in client-centered wealth management for ultra affluent families.

About Jim Kohles

Jim Kohles is chairman of the board of RINA accountancy corporation, Walnut Creek, Calif. A certified public accountant for more than 35 years, he specializes in business consulting, succession and retirement planning, and insurance.

About John Hartog

John Hartog is a partner at Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law. A certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law, and taxation law, he has been selected to the Super Lawyers Top 100 list for nineconsecutive years.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

So you want a Promotion?

Hard work and determination aren’t the only things you’ll need to achieve that much wanted promotion. Improving your skills, by returning to university, can often be the advantage you need when applying for a new job. In today’s rapidly growing consumer market, industry trends are frequently changing, often making it difficult to maintain the highest knowledge of the latest products. Industry policies also regularly change, particularly in the finance and business sectors, making it all the more important for professionals to maintain a thorough understanding of up to date procedures. With hundreds of enthusiastic graduates completing their qualifications each year, it is vital that you gain an advantage to secure that highly desired promotion.

Upgrading your Qualifications

Choosing to further educate yourself and upgrade your qualifications can be the difference between whether or not you land that highly sought after promotion. Particularly if you are employed within the business sector, there is a large range of options available to you, when upgrading your course. Dependent upon your current qualification, you may choose to study a specialised master’s degree, a graduate diploma or even a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Upgrading your skills and expanding your variety of knowledge can assist you in achieving a promotion within your company, or externally, within your chosen sector.

Exemptions and Recognition

If you have previously studied or have extensive knowledge in your chosen industry, you may be eligible for subject exemptions or recognition of prior learning, when applying for postgraduate study. Furthering your study, in order to achieve a promotion, does not need to be hard. Obtaining deserved exemptions can ultimately save you time and hundreds of dollars in tuition fees. Many postgraduate courses are offered through online education providers, making it even easier for people to continue working full time when returning to study. Subject credits allow you to complete a course upgrade without unnecessarily repeating course content which you have already mastered during previous study.

Building Character

Not only will further study help you to improve and update your skill set, but it will also show your employer what kind of person you are. If it is your ambition in life to have a successful career and reach a senior management level, you must display a strong character. Many employers agree that workers who opt to further their study are often more serious about their careers and show high levels of initiative. If you are seeking a promotion within your company, show your employer that you really mean business by being proactive and taking the next step in bettering your career.

Obtaining a promotion can often be difficult, in today’s ever competitive workforce. Furthering your study and upgrading your qualifications can often help you to achieve that much desired promotion.

Susan is an expert on Career Development from Sydney, Australia. She believes that postgraduate study is important to put you ahead of the pack. Susan is currently writing her first book on career fulfilment which will be in stores late next year.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A Couple of Tips for my Small Business Groups, Clients, Friends, and Internet Marketing Associates:

Content is always a premium, and a good blog speaks volumes about you.  Although I cannot always find the time to write each day, I try to publish something daily.  Since I started this my daily readership has tripled.  A great source of “guest blogs” can be found at:  http://myblogguest.com/  It is free and the quality is generally pretty good.  As always, make sure that the subject matter fits the general theme of your blog.  Mine is small business, but occasionally I drift off into some cute personal stories or a mindless rant.  Keeping on track is advisable if you want to maintain a steady readership.

 

Another great source for exposure is a discussion in the SMALL BUSINESS NETWORK on LinkedIn.  The discussion is called:  Post Your FaceBook Page Here.  It’s a great way to build a following and get your name and articles out to your community.

If you’ve got a business page on Facebook simply leave a link to your page in a comment.
This is a simple, easy, painless networking tool and can benefit everyone in the group!
I am borrowing this brilliant idea from the discussion leader, who borrowed it from another group on LinkedIn.
As an example, here is my link to my Facebook Page  facebook.com/BayIntegratedMarketing
Feel free to like it, and I’ll do the same for yours.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Can Odd-Looking ‘Diwheel’ Be Electric Vehicle of the Future?

As the electric automobile industry tries to get manufacturers and consumers alike to think out of the box while global warming necessitates a drastic move toward cleaner transportation technology, could it be that all the revolutionary electric vehicles appearing on today’s automobile market are not really out of the box at all but just inside a slightly larger box?

When it really comes down to it, every transportation device on today’s streets, even the strangest prototype from the most cutting-edge electric start-up, is fashioned in the likeness of either a typical car frame or a typical motorbike frame. That is as true for the Smart ForTwo as it is for a van, a semi, or even an electric scooter. Each of these models is just a glorified version of either a motorbike or a car.

Whether this is a good thing or not, those two basic frames have so dominated the transportation market that they have become the automatic ground zero for practically all attempts to create cleaner, greener vehicles. Even the most revolutionary personal transportation prototypes and the most fuel-efficient, battery-powered EVs all seem to begin from one of these two given starting points, the car or the motorbike.

With this mind, undergraduates from the University of Adelaide have attempted to develop something so completely out of the box that it relies almost not at all on either of these two typical basic automobile building blocks. They have come up with a transportation machine they call the Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping – EDWARD, for short. EDWARD is unlike anything you may have ever seen and is definitely no car or motorbike.

Two huge, parallel wheels make up the majority of EDWARD’s girth. Inside the hollow cylinder framed by these wheels sits the tiny passenger cabin, dwarfed by the mammoth circles that circumference it. This device is controlled by a joystick and has a top speed of about 40 miles per hour. It also boasts regenerative braking technology and a lead acid battery, identical to those found in regular cars, with a lifespan of about an hour of intensive driving. EDWARD makes use of lightweight materials for its construction and, as a result, weighs practically nothing.

Although EDWARD is certainly not the first diwheel, it is definitely the first to be powered by something other than human effort or an IC engine. EDWARD also features an active damping system that solves one of the diwheel’s major problems ever since its inception: stopping. Because of the disparity in the size of the wheels compared to the size of the passenger cabin, diwheels have been known for their jarring stops. The cabin would tend to swing forward heavily every time the brakes were applied. EDWARD solves this dilemma with a slosh control system that stabilizes the cabin and its occupants during harsh acceleration and braking.

While you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for mass production of these vehicles, what this invention really illustrates is that there is more than one way to skin a cat – in this case the cat of fossil fuels. Electric engines and lithium-ion batteries no longer have a monopoly on reducing our carbon footprint and reliance on filthy energy. There are other options.

Filling out a quote at Kanetix.ca will let you see which insurance companies in Ontario provide the most affordable rates of insurance for your particular vehicle. Doing a comparison of quotes at Kanetix can help you find cheap insurance and save you hundreds of dollars on insurance.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: