Run MS-DOS on your Windows Phone

There’s a nerdy-cool app you can get from Microsoft to run MS-DOS on your Windows Phone. They did this for April Fools.

MS-DOS on your windows phone?
  • I am 10% interested in actually seeing this for real.
  • Which, sadly, is a higher number than the % of people in the world who actually own a Windows Phone.
  • Which means I will never see this in real life. Ever.

Gmail Filters: Filter Emails that I am BCC’d on

This morning, I needed to generate a Gmail search filter to catch emails that I am regularly BCC’d on.  I receive a lot of email from this person and I did not want the filter to catch messages that are sent to me or where I am copied.

Thanks to Google and Dave Naffziger’s blog post on this more than six years ago, I easily had my filter running well in moments, not minutes, and I was off to the rest of my day.

From Dave:

To truly filter messages that are only received via bcc but that don’t have a special email address that they go to, you’ll need to do it this way:

deliveredto:[email protected] AND -to:[email protected] AND -cc:[email protected]

Enjoy!

This is a reason I blog, by the way, to keep things like this alive out there for others to find as well as a backup brain for myself the next time I need to know how to do this!

 

3 Things You Need When Negotiating A Job Offer (and 1 Thing You Don’t)

Tough Negotiator

I was in on a discussion about offer-negotiation the other day at work, and some things came to mind I thought about sharing.

First of all, setting the scene, negotiations is highly stressful. Job changes by themselves are stressful enough, but the fear of rejection or of negative opinions being formed by your soon-to-be boss can be overwhelming.

So, here’s three things you need to have ready in order to negotiate well in your job offer process.

  1. A Cool Head.
    Taking a new job is like marriage, not dating. Things get really serious really fast. Gone are the conversations about the food in the cafe and the new, modern work environment or flexible time off package.  Now it’s time to talk some long-term turkey, and you’re best not to flirt with this unless you have your head screwed on tight. Cooler heads prevail as the stakes get higher in any situation.Combat this by remembering why you started looking for a job anyway? Or, better stated, what are your key drivers for why you would or wouldn’t take a job?
    Interestingly, many people don’t take the time to list why they want a new job. They just go with their gut on it which, like flirting, isn’t the best way to keep things straight when its time to make real decisions.List out your reasons why you would/wouldn’t take a job andprioritize them. You should have some “Must-Haves”, “Important”, and “Plusses” as well as some “manageables”, “Prefer Nots” and some “Deal-Breakers” in the mix.Having these items handy in the negotiation phase will help you.  For example, if flexible schedules is more important to you than base-salary, you can use that as a negotiation point (aka “leverage”).  If so-called long-term compensation (most-often, this is stock but could be deferred cash compensation) is more important to you than a cash bonus every year, perhaps you can get a bigger stock grant by leaving your bonus money on the table?You may or may not get all your wishlist items in your new job (hint: you probably won’t), but it’s good to be exactly clear on why you want the new gig and what your deal-breakers are otherwise you might find yourself in that new company’s modern-slash-slightly-retro cafe eating your grass-fed beef burger, scratching at your neck and hating yourself for being duped into working in a place with Turtleneck-Tuesdays… again!
  2. A Realization that You Are (Pretty) Safe*
    Negotiating pros will tell you that youneedto be willing to “Walk Away” from an offer before you can fully negotiate with gusto.  While I agree with this–andyoushould be willing to walk away if it goes sour–there is one key thing for you to keep in mind:The company already offered you a job at a certain level.  They’re not really going to rescind the offer just because you asked for more here or there. The offer that they have given you stands. All you’re doing is trying to bend the finer points of the offer in your favor, if you can.Anyone who has been on the other end of a job-offer process at a company will tell you that there is usually a lengthy process to go through to get the job offer to the point they will talk to you about it.Think of all the things they’ve done on your behalf already:

    • Companies rarely give their very best offer right out of the gate. A little negotiation is often expected of you.  Just don’t be a jerk or crazy about it.*
    • They have probably interviewed 5-10+ other people and you’ve survived all that.
    • They have negotiated internally and secured budget to hire you instead of any of the other candidates or any other alternative.
    • They are trying desperately to keep their heads above water with their day job and are dying to know if you will help them fill the gaps.
  3. Know Your Target and Minimum Salary Needs
    This sounds funny, but so many times I ask people what they want to earn, and it’s as if this is the first time they have thought of it.You should know your target earnings and your minimum earnings cold. And be able to say it as simply as repeating your first name.Your new company will likely try to get the offer to fall in the range that you tell them.  So, be ready for the offer to fall in the mark there somewhere.  If you don’t give them a range, then the sky is the limit on what they might offer you (and, they usually won’t err on the side of “too much money”).

    What should your target be? Well, if the job is like your current job, then perhaps a 5% raise would be nice over your current pay.  If it’s a level up or will be significantly challenging, try 10%.

And the one thing you should stop doing?

  1. Stop Thinking “the Pie is Fixed”
    Margaret Neale, a professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford knows how to negotiate.  She says this is one of several pitfalls to avoid in negotiations.It means that you should stop thinking all of the parts of compensation (monetary and otherwise) on the table are the only pieces available to negotiate with.  It means that, if you know what you really want (see the number-one above), you can ask for those things with confidence even if they are not explicitly outlined in the offer.  Do this with tact and you may find them added to the pile, or better, realize that they’re already part of the offer–just implied (and they forgot to tell you).

Summary: All negotiations are really a dance of one kind or another.  You need to know yourself and know your audience and then use both those “excellent people skills” and “verbal and written communication skills” I keep reading about on your resume to go out and make it happen!

Good luck!

By the way, it’s known by now that women don’t ask for more in their negotiations. However, if they are told that the offer is negotiable, a study from the University of Chicago shows that women negotiate well when they realize it’s allowed.  And here’s the rub — it’s always allowed.  If they tell you “no, this is our final offer”, then you should proceed with caution, but otherwise, ask away!

* Note that I have rescinded offers after they have been presented because of the negotiations going completely awry.  Normally, these situations had something akin to creepy-stalkerish behavior, however, not negotiations between rational adults.

App: KindleBox moves eBooks from your Dropbox to Kindle

Drop an ebook file in your Dropbox and have it move effortlessly to your Kindle? Yus.

kindlebox

You’ll need to authorize the app in your Dropbox and Amazon accounts to get it working. Transferring files to and from the Kindle was already pretty easy, but if you use Dropbox, this is definitely a handy addition. #tnw

 

Wishlist Wednesday: Could Pick.co Be Meeting Scheduler Nirvana!?

I bumped into a post on SourceCon about Pick.co, a scheduler app that is mobile first (yaaay) and seems to do everything I want a scheduler to do. See them online

OH MY GOSH there is such a need for someone to just KILL this space… i don’t know why it’s not been done.

Three Years ago, it was finally confirmed that Tungle.me (shuttered by BlackBerry) was finally gone. I’ve been looking for a replacement in vain.

This one looked oh so much like it might be the one…

Until I realized when downloading that they, like every other scheduler, is only syncing with Google Calendar right now. WHYYYY? :(

My Wishlist for the Perfect Scheduling App:

  • Mobile First – on an APP.
  • EXCHANGE sync!
  • Easy to SEND calendar requests (“Hey, let’s meet! Pick a time that works for you here: http://linky.loo)
  • Easy to coordinate calendars with people who are NOT on the service. Just send email or text to book a meeting. Don’t make this hard!
  • Easy to move/change events (when the Boss changes staff meeting again, creating a conflict) without having to do anything hard/awkward.
  • Pro: Let me book concurrent meetings with multiple people (aka: Job interviews in succession)

And, quick question, why can’t my phone just sync my phone-based calendars with your app?? They’re all on my phone! That’s what Any.do does with their calendar... Sunrise does the same thing.  Why not you??

Do it!

Ready to use. Ready to tell everyone about this app. Ready to invest if I could!

 

P.S. Assistant.to is another one I heard about… is it any good?

Job Offers Should Be Like Buying A House (Not A Car)

couple-closing-on-new-home

A new job is an emotional experience for candidates and hiring managers alike. Nobody wants to make the wrong choice on either side of the table.

Unfortunately, the traditional process of presenting job offers usually felt something like subterfuge not simplicity. There always seemed to be the proverbial man behind the curtain (youtube) calling the shots but never really revealing all the details.

Thankfully, employers are experiencing an enlightenment of sorts.  Talent is hard to find, and simple economics tells you that the right people are more valuable (and worth paying) than a whole lot of the wrong people–no matter what you are (or are not) paying them. Richard Branson famously said that companies should “treat their employees well enough that they can leave, treat them well enough they don’t want to.”

With that as a backdrop to corporate compensation philosophy today, smart companies are working early and often with candidates to develop a clear, plain conversation around total compensation and rewards that includes the candidates interests, the company’s planned compensation model and finally, the market’s salary details for the given job and location.

This is why I say job offers should feel like closing on a home, not trying to buy a car.

A job offer like a good home closing will include:

  • Clear, up-front conversations about the full scope of the job from the first interaction to the job offer (the “closing”).
  • You will have many opportunities to discuss the job openly with future co-workers, subordinates as well as management.
  • Recruiters involved will be forthcoming and transparent about expectations and timing.
  • Clear and transparent discussion about compensation philosophy will be shared with you so you can make an informed decision about what you want to request.
  • Any disputes or discussions are fair and balanced with all the facts on the table.

Meanwhile, a car salesman’s job offer experience will feel like this:

  • The details about the job are only high-level and get fuzzy when you press for details.
  • You often only meet with one or two people and they’re the only ones who talk to you about the job.
  • You feel intense pressure to hurry and make a decision about the job. RIGHT. NOW! without all the details clearly worked out.
  • Often the person you’re talking with can’t make decisions and has to keep “going back for approval” repeatedly, exposing either tremendous red tape or (at a minimum) information hoarding by HR or finance or someone.
  • They want to know your comp requirements, but never share their expectations of pay OR WORSE, they never ask you what you’re looking for and just throw a number at you claiming it’s fair and you should take it.

Car Salesman

Here are three things companies can do to present job offers like a good home closing and not like a sleazy car salesman:

  1. Talk early and often about compensation and total rewards.
    This is often best done between the recruiter and the candidate. I recommend simply asking the candidate for a target comp as well as a minimum to determine a range. Importantly, no judgement is expressed here. The recruiter takes down the information and explains that this will come up again soon.
  2. Enable fully-transparent interview processes.
    We forget that we need the candidate to choose us as much as we want to choose them. Develop your interview processes in a way that will foster two-way selection. Let the candidate talk with future colleagues, direct reports, managers, cross-functional leaders and more. Let them understand how they will fit in to your company personally, not just professionally.
  3. Fully discuss compensation verbally before writing out paperwork.
    Legal departments hate this but it’s a key part of the process. You would never buy a home without first talking about price, what to include, what to exclude, etc. And we should do the same with our candidates.Give them details on base pay, bonuses and equity if-applicable. Tell them about vacation, benefits, or other things they should be aware of. Often the key factors come down to total expected annual cash compensation and the value of long-term rewards.

    Next, the recruiter goes back and gets approval to extend an offer at a certain point in the range the candidate wants and presents this to the candidate, who can accept it verbally.  Personally, thanks to legal department paranoia, I often state this as something like, “If an offer were to be made like this, do you think you would accept it, or at least seriously consider it?”. This is my chance to explore any wishywashyness and perhaps resolve it before generating any paperwork at all.

When this is done correctly, candidates will often accept the offers right away because experience of the job-offer is simply a formality… the legally-binding conclusion to a decision that was already emotionally determined days or weeks before!

Hey! Don’t Skip That Verizon Privacy Notice in Your Mailbox!

I slipped open an innocent letter from Verizon noting an “Important Privacy Notification” on the envelope this afternoon to read that, if I didn’t take any action, Verizon would (or would continue) to share the following information with third parties:

Are you OK with Verizon sharing the URLs you visit, location of your device and app usage with 3rd parties?
Are you OK with Verizon sharing the URLs you visit, location of your device and app usage with 3rd parties?

Yeah, no thanks.

Luckily, the process to tell Verizon not to share anything here is easy. Go to http://www.vzw.com/myprivacy, login, and go through and select what you are OK with sharing and what you are not OK with.

 
Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 5.07.53 PM Screen_Shot_2015-01-27_at_5_08_29_PMScreen Shot 2015-01-27 at 5.09.03 PM

Beware the ‘I Sent You A Docusign’ Email ‘Phishing’ Hack

There’s a hack going around that has all the hallmarks of a phishing scam, but using a new vector: Docusign, the popular online contract-signing service.

Realizing that many people are hopefully a little wary of opening attachments that don’t make sense right now, it seems that we may be all too happy to click hyperlinks though.

The same rules apply… if you weren’t expecting a contract or document to sign, VERIFY that you should be clicking this before doing so. ..

Here’s a screenshot of the most-recent version of this I have received. Note that mousing over (BUT NOT CLICKING!) the link reveals this won’t send you to Docusign afterall, but to somewhere unsavory, presumably with vicious computer bits just drooling to get their digital DNA all over your computer.

Pass the sanitizer, please.

This email looks like it might be a valid "docusign" email... but it's not. Nope... it's phishing you to get you to click an invalid link.
This email looks like it might be a valid “docusign” email… but it’s not. Nope… it’s phishing you to get you to click an invalid link.

 

Re: Doomed To Repeat It

IMG_2264.PNG

Perhaps it’s the same reason commuters can’t ignore tragedy on the freeway mixed with the human desire to improve on the things in our lives while diligently keeping our fingers in our ears to all rational experiential suggestions from those ahead of us on life’s trail.

Yet it is the case that we have a bizarrely morbid desire to gaze on others mistakes while simultaneously plunging ourselves into the same treachery they just met, but humans, it appears, are doomed to repeat… Just about everything.

A surprisingly engaging article on Medium drew me in discussing the reasons why engineers reinvent the same software over and over again: email, markup languages, and todo lists.

The developer raises up the great sword of technology and brings it down upon the plinth of culture—and the sword shatters. But never mind; we can go back to the forge to make a bigger, better sword for retina displays. And as we craft it we whisper that eternal prayer for the comfort of list-makers: This time will be different.

Doomed to Repeat It by Paul Ford