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November 2006
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January 2007

Blog Links And User Groups Updated

Since my last update a couple of weeks ago I have only added a few blogs but I have added 5 new tech user groups and associations.


I have been reaching out to those I have linked to and asking them for 20-25 words describing their blog. I am not a big fan of the blog roll where all you have is a title to look at. This way a visitor may read something that gets their attention and click on a site new to them.


For my recruiting friends I will be sending you the email this week.


Blogs, Business, 5 blogs added

Blogs, Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1 Politics and 2 Sports blogs added

Blogs, Technology, 2 blogs added


Twin Cities And Minnesota Technology User Groups, Professional Associations And Networking Groups, 5 groups added

Guy Kawasaki To Speak At The University of Minnesota

Many thanks to Graeme Thickins for replying to an email I sent him last week. I have been reaching out to local bloggers, many for the first time. Most of my time the past 18 months has been spent developing friendships with the folks who read/lurk/participate at I am not leaving them behind but I am looking to do the same locally.


Graeme writes a blog called Tech~Surf~Blog and he referred me to his post, Guy Kawasaki Is Comin' to Town. Graeme has all the information you need to attend the event on January 19th and also a Q&A with Guy who is doing the presentation while in town for the 2007 US Pond Hockey Tournament.


Guy Kawasaki writes the blog How to Change the World.


I have registered and I am looking forward to meeting Graeme and other blog writers I have been swapping email with in recent months.

Ask For The Job

A few weeks ago I had a guy referred to me (could I talk him through the job search process) that was having a hard time finding a tech job. My initial reaction was that he did not know what he was doing. I was right.


We worked through his issues and yesterday he had two interviews. He asked what he should do in the interview. I had just read a post at What Would Dad Say and pointed him to it, What To Say at the Job Interview, No Matter What the Job.


There is a lot of advice one can give and G.L. covers the basics but he has an item in there that I have rarely seen anyone suggest (I always do):

4. Ask for the job. Too many interviews end in no-man’s land. Find out if they are interested by simply asking for the job. Too many interviews end with no real action…find out what you have to do next.  This is clearly the most important thing you can say during the interview:  “May I start right away.”

How many times I have a conversation with someone, they say the interview went well, they think they will be called back or they have no idea what happens next.


You think or you do not know?


Ask, ask, ask. Better to know now what the plan is (or is not) than go home and think about it for the next few days. Asking for the job straight up may be very bold but at least show interest. If you want the job show a sign and make sure the interviewer gets it. Better to go a little too far (without sounding desperate or overly eager) than leave the interviewer wondering about your interest level.


Back to my tech guy, he read the post and went on the interviews. The second opportunity was a fit for him. He was told they would call him back later in the day after the other interviews.


Rather than leave it at that he asked about their timeline. The response was they needed someone to start next week. He still has one week left on his current gig but he offered to do some evening work and start January 2nd. They agreed.


It’s a 9-month contract and the hourly rate is very good. Who knows, if he had not asked the question maybe someone else would have the gig and he would still be looking.

Minnesota Morning







Click Here To Vote For The 2006 Blog Awards


‘Tis the season to be loud, slightly obnoxious, and to be a fan. What am I talking about you ask? After a couple of weeks away from college football it is now Bowl Season. I know there are detractors out there who say there are too many bowl games. Too many 6-6 teams (like my Gophers).


I acknowledge that the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl is a lame name and far cry from the Rose Bowl but it looks like the fans had a good time, it is good for the local economy, and the players get more practice and game time. Oh, and ESPN makes some cash too.


Mr. Scrooge, if you do not like them then do not watch the games. Let us college football fans have some fun.


One game down, thirty some more to go. And I correctly predicted a TCU victory over Northern Illinois. 1-0 baby.


Minnesota Business Scene:

-Taco John’s, all clear so to speak Taco John's CEO aims to blunt damage from E. coli outbreak.


-Wow, the editorial board of the Star Tribune in favor of a program that gives businesses an incentive(s), read that as a break on taxes, to create jobs Editorial: JOBZ tax breaks spur rural job growth



Recruiting and Careers:

-I wrote about this back in June but a good reminder as the college kids think about 2007, College Grad Starting Salaries.


-Are You Prepared For The Busiest Job Search Day?, I really do not understand why people wait. I pick January 8th as the busiest day.


-If you are waiting until after the 1st of the year to look into a career change you might want to be getting ready for it, New Job or Career Change in 2007? Are you Market Ready?.



Twin Cities Blogs:

-Swiftboating the Governor's Race, I have had a lot of interest in the local political blogs since the election. I find it interesting to see items come out after the election. Things you wish you had known before.


-Last week a catapult this week a Scooter Mounted Potato Cannon?



Twin Cities Living:

-Former Minneapolis City Council Member Dean Zimmerman gets a vacation in a Yankton, South Dakota federal prison for taking bribes, Dean Zimmerman Sentenced to 2.5 Years. Jeffrey Skilling gets a dorm room in Waseca. Hardly seems fair.




-Minnesota Twins

I watched much of the Brad Radke press conference officially announcing his retirement. What a great guy he has been. They mentioned the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has donated to community organizations and the tens of thousands of kids he and his wife have hosted at Twins games. He will be missed, Radke Retires.


-Minnesota Vikings

Three or four players to the Pro Bowl, At least three Vikings headed to Pro Bowl. That seems generous to me.


-University of Minnesota Athletic Department

No more probation, Gopher athletics officially off probation.


-Allen Iverson goes to the Denver Nuggets. The AI and KG dream ends.


-The NBA announced punishments for the brawl between the Knicks and Nuggets. Carmelo Anthony deserved the 15 game and pay vacation. I am very disappointed that Isiah Thomas does not receive any punishment.

‘Tis The Season To Find A Job

Have you been waiting until after the holiday season to start your job search? BIG mistake. This is a great time of year to be looking for your next opportunity.


Most people think nothing happens this time of year. Yes some people are on vacations, leaving early on a Friday, and coming in a little later than usual but they do not have three weeks off.


How do I know this? Take a look outside right after sunset. Depending on where you work I bet you will see lights on in office buildings. When you are driving home, look around. See the lights? People are working. I bet you are working. I bet most people in your company are working.


But what kind of work are you doing? Exactly. Planning for next year. Catching up on paper work. Finishing a project. You have time on your hands right? Everyone does.


Companies are hiring or at least getting ready to. Make the phone call. Send the email. Follow up. And if you find the person you want to contact is out be sure to follow up in 2007 and remind them of the your attempts to contact them.


Besides the “usual” job search this is also a great time of year to be meeting new people. If you are invited to holiday parties be very subtle but treat them as networking events.


Here is a great post from Career Hub, 12 Holiday Networking Tips. Debra Feldman walks through the 12 steps and they work through out the year, not just during the holiday season.


Start your job search now and by the end of January you can already be working with your new employer, being excited for the opportunities of the New Year.

Jeffrey Skilling, Welcome To Minnesota

Too bad it sounds like your stay here will be much more comfortable than you deserve. I know those dorm rooms are a little small for four men but it could be, should be, worse for you. I sure hope that you do not have cable or any of the game consoles like Xbox or Wii:


Skilling's Minnesota digs not bad — as prisons go

Enron's Jeffrey Skilling Reports To Prison

Jeff Skilling reports to Minnesota federal prison

Ethics, Economics, and Efficiency

Why should you care if government, corporations, or your neighbors are dishonest or corrupt?  It seems that we, as a society, set the bar awfully low these days in terms of our expectations for our elected officials, business ethics, and corporate governance.  Sadly, we are no longer surprised when we hear stories of theft or corruption.  But we should be outraged and that outrage should cause us to demand change.  Corruption leads to economic inefficiencies which, in turn, lower our standard of living.
Corporate Corruption
Enron is an extreme example of what happens when senior corporate executives toss ethics out the window.  The simplest way to look at the Enron debacle is that Enron executives told the shareholders and employees that the company was earning more money than it was.  Then they rewarded themselves by taking disproportionately large salaries, kickbacks, and bonuses.  Some of the executives also created dummy companies that Enron Corporation paid for services that these fake companies did not provide.  Enron is an extreme example of corporate greed and theft.  But what about mid-level managers who overstate their expenses or charge personal expenses to the company?  Or company executives with responsibility for purchasing who spend company funds purchasing goods or services from companies in which they own an interest? Should we care?  The answer is "yes" because all the little thefts add up to big ones.  If we tolerate the little conflicts of interest, minor thefts, or misappropriation of funds it becomes easier to tolerate the big ones. We should have learned from Enron about the tragedies that can happen when there is little corporate governance and when we become tolerant of lapses in corporate ethics.
Government Corruption
I lived in Chicago for nearly 20 years.  Chicago is a fantastic city but it is known for its history of government corruption.  A few years ago, there was a scandal called "The Hired Truck" scandal.  The Hired Truck Scandal broke when a reporter noticed that most of the city's snow plows were sitting idle during a snowstorm and the snow plows that were actually plowing the streets were rented from a company whose CEO had high ranking connections at City Hall.  In effect, elected officials were stealing money from the taxpayers to line the pockets of the CEO of one particular company.  While sometimes government corruption isn't as egregious as the Hired Truck Scandal, government corruption amounts to an increase in our taxes.  In the case of Chicagoans, a portion of their taxes pay for city snow plows.  But if the city doesn't run those plows and, instead, rents private snow plows, the taxpayers are being charged twice for a service they should only pay for once.  Chicago has become an extremely expensive city in which to live. Property taxes, in particular, are so high that many families have to move to distant suburbs in order to be able to afford decent housing and schools.  No single scandal is to blame for high taxes but the societal resignation to government corruption, payoffs, and kickbacks are strong contributors to the rising cost of living in Chicago.
Corruption is economically inefficient.  When we as a society become so jaded that we don't really demand honesty from ourselves, our co-workers, senior executives, or elected officials we are effectively lowering our standard of living.  Don't put up with dishonesty, theft, or ethical lapses. You may live to regret it.
Liz Handlin, Ultimate Resumes LLC, © Copyright 2006
Liz Handlin
This Blogswap article is courtesy of at and at, a leading site for college students and recent graduates who are searching for internships and entry level jobs.

Blogswap Lives On

You may remember earlier this year started a blog swap with 20+ recruiting blogs and it went on for many weeks. Some great content was shared and we were able to introduce ourselves to other blog readers.


A few weeks ago (Jason Davis) and (Steven Rothberg) teamed up to reintroduce the blogswap and I am happy to announce that they are letting me participate.


Later on today I will be posting an article by a blogger who is new to me, remember I have been in my own little world the past weeks, Liz Handlin of ultimate resumes.


Many thanks to Jason and Steven for reviving the swap and letting me play along.

IT Jobs With NonProfits

The following new technology jobs have been added on the MN Headhunter Volunteer Page:


Business Analyst (IT & Records Management)

Data Administrator

Director of Information Services

Java/Websphere Developer



Click weekly newsletter to receive the Wednesday message of nonprofit needs, IT jobs I am recruiting for, recruiting gigs, and most popular blog posts of the week.


If you are using a RSS Feed click Volunteer.

Negotiating An Offer Like Daisuke Matsuzaka

If you follow baseball or you hate the New York Yankees you likely recognize Daisuke Matsuzaka the much heralded pitcher the Boston Red Sox just paid what will end up being a, between his compensation and money to his team in Japan, $100+ million dollar deal.


Some of the specifics in the deal signed by the Red Sox and Matsuzaka include base compensation, signing bonus, cash incentives, message therapist, physical therapist, personal assistant, interpreter, and 80-90 flights (whatever that means). Oh, and his wife gets transportation arrangements and accommodations along with special housing.


Now I grant that he has special circumstances leaving Japan for Boston but with his salary alone he could afford to take of that on his own.


Very few if any of us have that much will ever have that much power and control over our compensation package.


But you do have some ability to control what you receive from your employer, a few examples:


-If by chance you do have some clout within your profession you may not be able to get access to the company jet but you may be able to achieve equity in the company or guaranteed bonus plan.


-If you want to get a MBA, other degree, or certificate of some sort ask about tuition reimbursement.


-If a start up company you may ask for more stock options.


Other opportunities for a better compensation and benefit package include extra vacation, paid time off, etc.


The key is to take what is important to you, it may not always be money, and see what the company may be able to do to accommodate you.


But be careful in how you do it. No one likes dealing with someone who is being greedy in a negotiation. Have your list of things you are looking for up front. Do not come back again and again to see what you can get away with.