No job? What you gonna do?

I am watching LinkedIn and seeing an unusually high number of people in my network update their status. Normally that leads to ‘Congrats on the new job’. No, they don’t have a job and that is probably due to the downturn in the economy – I refer to the impact of Covid-19.

BBC News reported on what to do to find a job at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-53685650 as the UK fell into recession and reported there are about half as many job ads as there were last year.

Who hasn’t been there? What are you options? For some, early retirement. At 65 (soon to be 66) that is an option for me, but I am not going there. I feel I have lots left in the tank. Start a business. Good idea but lots of hazard. I am pursuing this option and speak from experience. Gain a new skill. That can cost money and there are also free online courses. Volunteer.

I recall speaking to a group of unemployed people, some had been out for work for too long. I made one recommendation: Get in contact with people in your network and tell them about your situation and describe your ideal job. The one person that followed this recommendation landed a job within a matter of weeks and kindly wrote to thank me for my advice.

Be different!

Where do you start? I was looking through my contacts and came across a great example of how to promote yourself in an authentic way. The response was phenomenal. I have obscured the identity of that person.

Headline – that’s different 

I love to learn so ideally I would like to do something different from my previous positions. Rather than trying to define my dream role with artificial job titles, I will try to explain what I am good at, what interests me and who I would like to work with. 

What am I good at?  

  • Building relationships and connections 
  • Figuring things out and solving problems proactively  
  • Supporting senior management by focusing on the details so they don’t need to 
  • Policy, strategy, governance, compliance 
  • Planning, budgeting, monitoring, reporting, presenting
  • Keeping stakeholders and colleagues informed 
  • Assimilating, understanding and analysing information 
  • Project and programme management 
  • Writing in plain language 
  • Seeing the big picture 

Who would I like to work with? 

  • Enthusiastic and passionate “doers” with a vision 
  • Thinkers who love to learn and understand that best ideas are rarely conceived between 9am and 5pm at a desk in an office 
  • Organisations with a positive ethos, in particular start-ups and SMEs where I can grow professionally 
  • Mix of people from all nationalities, ages and backgrounds 
  • A resident office dog would be a bonus! 

What gets me excited? 

  • Meeting new people, seeing new places, learning new things 
  • Health and wellbeing, in particular nutrition and focusing on (organic) food instead of pills for good health, and reducing the amount of sugar we eat and drink 
  • Environment and nature – the great outdoors and the big blue 
  • Waste reduction, recycling, sustainability, renewable energy 
  • Digital developments, especially wearable tech and apps supporting healthy lifestyle 
  • Chance to use and improve my language skills (currently redacted, but looking to learn more, perhaps even a coding language?) 

Where do I want to work? 

  • Although currently based in redacted, for the right role I would be ready to relocate, both within the UK and abroad, and happy to work remotely

What am I like? 

  • Resourceful, curious, resilient, adaptable, reliable, creative, honest, diplomatic, approachable, organised, meticulous, good with numbers 
  • Good interpersonal skills and high level of emotional intelligence 
  • Can turn my hand to most things and have lots of common sense 

Over to you now and bonne chance.

Overload

My inbox is so full with unread messages I’m thinking the best thing to do is just empty it – everything gone.

I am busy building some online businesses and mindful that every day I need to do something to keep the businesses in the mind of our audiences. Perhaps they suffer from the same overload I do. They do!

So when I read this article https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/348156 it set me thinking; mainly I do the things it suggests but it is a full-time job and when you are starting out there are just so many things to be done everyday.

What are others saying.

https://brand24.com/blog/the-future-of-marketing/

Product Price Place Promotion – Old hat marketing!

Brands. Oh don’t you just love them? Apparently most people, including me, don’t give a fig.

Source https://brand24.com/blog/the-future-of-marketing/

So, no silver bullet. Should have gone for a bicycle ride instead.

Au revoir GDPR

The UK Government is not budging on its commitment to leave the EU by 31 December 2020. So businesses have to plan for what that means for their obligations under GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.

Here is a simplified explanation provided by the DPO Centre. It does contain some terminology specific to data protection.

EU to the UK: If the UK is not be deemed adequate, organisations will not be able to receive personal data from the EU without a suitable safeguard in place. It is imperative that you understand exactly how data flows to and from your organisation and plan for implementing a suitable safeguard prior to the end of the transition period.

UK to the EU: This is likely to be a more straightforward affair as the current transfer (i.e. the movement of data from one place to another, this could be, for example, from one data controller to another, or from one jurisdiction to another) of data from the UK to the EU will stay as it is. The UK declared that the EU will effectively be “adequate” for such purposes and data flows will continue uninterrupted, providing they comply with all applicable regulations. As there may be a divergence between UK and Member State laws, it’s sensible to keep an eye on how the legal sands shift over time and be ready to make any adjustments required. Clearly detailing each data flow in your RoPA (Record of Processing Activities) will assist with this monitoring.

UK to Third Countries: The early signs indicate that simplicity may prevail here too. The UK Government has stated its intention to recognise the jurisdictions considered adequate by the EU Commission as also being adequate to receive data from the UK. Privacy Shield (the certification scheme, currently operational with the US, which places requirements on companies to protect personal data and provide appropriate redress for individuals) will continue in its present form, however US entities receiving such data under this safeguard will need to update their privacy notice (a clear, open and honest explanation of how an organisation processes personal data) accordingly. All indications are that the EU Model Clauses will continue as an effective safeguard for such transfers as well.

The validity of the Model Clauses is due to be assessed by the courts in July 2020, so knowing how any changes to this regime may affect your compliance is essential as we move towards the end of the transition period and into a post-Brexit UK.

Credit to DPO Centre and you can subscribe their newsletter to receive informative updates – I subscribe and happy to recommend to you.

Big fashion mistake

Which very successful clothing retailer has no online store?

Your first reaction may be; what no online store in this day and age.

Figured it out? No. Some more clues.

The business was founded in 1969.

It has 373 stores (reported 2019).

Getting closer to the answer?

It has an annual turnover of £7.79Bn (FY2019).

Few people know this, it is part of a FTSE 100 company.

Last clue. It targets customers under the age group of 35 years which are fashion conscious. 

Due to the COVID-pandemic and that it sells non-essential products it stores were closed so they sold ‘nothing’ and when you have 78,000 employees that is alot of affected people.

The company is PRIMARK.

I dwell on the word ‘unfortunately’. I would say this is massive strategic failure on the part of the company. A review of the Board of Directors of Primark’s parent company, Associated British Foods (LSE:ABF), reveals the board has no one with notable digital experience. Umhh, so a company with sales of £7.79Bn in a sector that was among the first to ‘hit by a train’ by online just ignored the revolution that was happening in customer shopping habits?

The clothing sector’s very own Kodak moment. Click here, or should be snap here, to know about Kodak’s moment.

I wrote this as I prepare for the Cloud Industry Forum’s Members meeting on Thursday 29th April 2020. At that meeting we will take stock of what the impact of the current events has been on the cloud computing industry. Actually, these unfortunate events have created boom times for companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Zoom and many others that exist to provide online services.

Gis’ a job

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen a swathe of job losses resulting from business failure and downsizing. Many people are furloughed and hope they will return to work. Let’s hope so.

Some occupations have remained resilient, anyone in the heathcare sector and other key workers have had security. of work. Delivery drivers are working flat out. We will soon need an army of people (with strong backs) to pick our fruits and vegetables.

In the world of tech, if you are looking for opportunity, look no further than Artificial Intelligence. According to LinkedIn this the hot ticket. You can read their report when you click here.

Critical Thinking

If ever there was a time for critical thinking it has to be during the events of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is on-going contest between those reporting the news about Covid-19. Action is now being taken against those publishing news or information that contradicts the ‘official’ message of the UK government. A government that brings other countries to book for their abuse of human rights and censorship are now, because it suits their agenda, doing the very same.

Two things stand out for me that have been reported on government websites that raise questions and deserve critical thinking. Before we get to that here is an explanation of critical thinking: Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to but rather have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions.

UK government report before the lockdown clearly stated Covid-19 was not. a highly infectious disease. Click here to go the official source.

Next turning to the Scottish government, their website reports something chilling when interpreted as deliberately skewing the reporting of Covid-19 deaths. Make your own mind up. Click here to go the official source.

So, you have a positive test for Covid-19. 15 days later you fall down the stairs and die from multiple injuries. Cause of death is? Covid-19. I don’t think so! To add that death to the Covid-19 number of deaths is wrong, misleading and makes you wonder why?

Time for some critical thinking?

Other worrying news for certain population groups that are more vulnerable to Covid-19 published by European Scientist. Click here to go the article.

In these times of fake news who does not have a political or other agenda to promote? Click here to reach Full Fact a UK charity dedicated to independent fact checking.

This post was written on Tuesday 21 April 2020. Fact and True!

You are a big thinker?

When its BAU the focus is more on execution than innovation. When you are in crisis then innovation comes to the fore. Tech is in a continuous state of innovation and that generally exceeds our capacity to absorb it in everyday life. Proof? Moving your meetings online with video conferencing (Zoom Teams, Skype) should be straightforward enough – it is for some, and utterly baffling for others.

Homeworking for many is the new norm. What’s next? Universal Basic Income for those with no jobs to return to after we quell the Covid-19 pandemic (or is that a plandemic)? Mandatory vaccinations for everyone? A haircut on personal savings to pay for the Covid-19 debt?

At times like this you may want to bury your head in the sand.

If that is not for you, cos you are a big thinker, then you will find this a valuable go to resource. IT IS FREE!

It is a product of the World Economic Forum so you might to check out who is behind the WEF so you are comfortable with the agenda https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Economic_Forum#Membership

Click here to access the resource.

My closing thought. I am perturbed by the lack of critical thinking that has resulted in people (during Covid-19 lockdown) not questioning the news that, it appears to me, spreads fear and panic among the population. To what end? To test how easily we can be controlled?

I did not expect that

An unforeseen pandemic comes along and suddenly it is no longer BAU. In fact we don’t even recognise the world and yearn for a return to BAU.

The tech industry has delivered some useful tools to cope (for now) with this interruption to BAU. People are fast becoming familiar with Zoom, Skype, Teams and other tools to keep in contact and get the work of the day done.

Jobs that did not seem so important are suddenly elevated to being of high importance. Checkout operators for example. Our key workers that keep vital services running. And those that are less visible? The tech people keeping the services we have become dependant upon, I am referring to all those services we access numerous times a day on our phones and computers. These services have kept supply chains functioning and some semblance of BAU. So, what will be the learnings from this pandemic?

Those with IT backgrounds will be familiar with business continuity planning. I wonder how many business continuity scenarios planned for a pandemic that had a wildly unpredictable timeline? More than that, the pandemic upended how society functions. I can’t come to work today, I have to home school the kids. I’ll get to that proposal this evening (if I am not totally wrung out). I’m having problems accessing the Internet from home, I’ll try later. Deadlines?

I’ll come back to this in one year to see how the world reacted to the most significant upheaval of society in recent times. Did tech save the day?

Jobs to be Done

A conversation with a business partner triggered me to go refresh on an article I had read in the Harvard Business Review, title “Jobs to be Done“.

Back to that conversation. In anticipation of Covid-19 requiring people to stay at home, they had upgraded their office servers (more disk capacity) and hardened security. It was a rush job and so far everything was working. Quite unprompted, they said, the “Job to be Done” upon return to work is to put everything in the cloud.

They could have moved everything into the cloud at anytime and it took an external event to put that on the Jobs to Done list. It makes you think what else will be put on the Jobs to be Done list upon a return to work?

Interested to know more? Then click here to read the Harvard Business Review article.

AI in ascension

It seems that Artificial Intelligence is the new buzzword and tagged everywhere.

As a golfer I was intrigued to see Callaway ‘AI tag’ their golf clubs. I smiled when I read that AI assisted design of the golf club and would help an expert golfer achieve an increase in ball speed by as much as three to five miles per hour, translating to 5 to 10 yards more distance and completely change the strategy off the tee. That is a little different to my AI (“Actual Intent”) strategy; let’s just keep this on the fairway Frank where at least I have a decent lie for my next shot 🙂

Story at https://www.digitaltrends.com/outdoors/callaway-golf-artifical-intelligence/

On my early morning coffee + quiet reading and research explorations I found this wonderful treasure trove of data on Artificial Intelligence.

Go to https://www.cognilytica.com/

Dig in at www.cognilytica.com and learn more about the ascension of AI.

You can take an online course with a certificate and be learned in Cognitive Project Management for Artificial Intelligence (CPMAI) Methodology for the sum of $2495. Tempted? Given the incredible amount of investment going into AI this may be a good $earner. Maybe apply some AI to your decision-making?

Finally, anyone in the tech sector will be familiar with the term ‘best practice’. I found this resource https://www.bestpractice.ai/ with case studies of those organisations that have dived into AI. I am not endorsing it, just bringing it to your attention.