How will they change our lives next?

I've just got back from a day of touring around Silicon Valley in California. It was amazing to see mile after mile of the headquarters of some of the biggest brands in the world.

Yahoo!, Adobe, Apple, Google, HP, Intel, Facebook - to name a few. Not only are they mega-companies, they have significantly changed our lives. They have developed hardware, software, operating systems, search engines and social networks that have changed how we live, connect and communicate.

I wake up to the alarm on my iPhone, download my email, check my facebook wall and read a couple of pdf documents - all before breakfast - and I do this (almost) every day. All using technology and applications that the people behind these companies have brought to the world in the last few years.

As I travelled down the 101 Freeway I couldn't help wonder what on earth is going on behind these walls? What are they working on that will change my life next?

No doubt there will be much that hits the market, some will be technically brilliant but not take off. Others will become part of my new everyday. One thing I do know is that I need to keep in touch with what's coming but not chase after every new thing I hear about. Otherwise I won't get anything else done!

A challenge for Career Chicks (and others) is to keep across what works for you and the people you need and want to connect with. One way is to keep an eye on what the folks behind these walls in Silicon Valley are up to!

Career Chick Hot Tip - keep your skills current!

That's all for now - Karen

The right or write word?

Not all of us can get away with making up our own words and getting them named "word of the year' by the New Oxford American Dictionary. Which is exactly what Sarah Palin did with her invention of "refudiate". The Huffington Post reports this new word as meant to be a blend of 'refute' and 'repudiate'.

Whether what she meant was what she said remains to be seen - but nobody is talking about what she 'refudiated' - just about what she meant. (And I think they just might be having a bit of fun at her expense.)

Using the right words that say exactly what you mean might take you out of contention for word of the year. But it will ensure that the messages that you are trying to convey are most likely to be understood.

My thinking is to use the simplest and most appropriate words. Words that don't have alternate meanings or can be mis-interpreted.

For Australian writers I have come across a great resource to help with writing which is a book called, "How Much Can a Koala Bear?". Author Pamela Thorne has created a quick reference guide that provides simple explanations of commonly confused words.

I've been using my copy quite a bit and thought I would share it with you.

Choosing your words carefully is one of the elements to the CODE for career success. As how well you communicate can have a significant impact on your effectiveness and success.

Career Chick Hot Tip: Choose the right words

I'm headed over to the U.S. Monday so I'll be writing from California next week. Wouldn't you know it - snow is expected in the hills around San Francisco this weekend - just as summer has finally decided to make an appearance in Sydney! Better go and find those winter woollies....

That's all for now.


P.S. Spell check didn't recognise 'refudiate' when I checked this post! ☺

Can you do all of what you can do?

Work out what's most important to you
Career Chicks are pretty talented. No matter what it is you do there are bound to be lots of things that you are capable of doing. But the sixty-four million dollar question is - "Are there enough hours in the day for you to do everything you can do?"

The answer for most of us mere mortals is no. We have the capability to do many of the tasks that confront us in a day - answer emails, go to meetings, write a proposal, answer more email etc. etc. you know what I mean - an ordinary day with more to do than we have time to do it.

And it doesn't just happen at work. I go on holidays and wake with anticipation of a 'relaxing' day - breakfast, a visit to the shops, some time on the beach, a coffee break, maybe pop over and see a local attraction, a long relaxing lunch, an afternoon swim, a cocktail at sunset and then dinner. Sounds great. (Actually I think I need to stop writing this blog and book a trip to Hawaii NOW!) But the point of what I am saying is this - even when it's all good stuff - I usually can 't do as much as I want to do and think that I can get done.

It's the same with work. We have a pretty good understanding of what we are able to do but often vastly overestimate how much of it we are able to get done. This leads us to make commitments and promises of work we will get done - and create a whole lot of stress for ourselves.

The trick is to prioritize!

Prioritize what is important to you. So that what you really need to deliver is completed.

Last week I HAD to get my tax finished - so I had to enforce a self-imposed blogging and Facebook ban (I know - serious stuff!). But it had to be done. I made it my priority and the good thing is - what I really HAD to get done is done.

Decide what is most important to you and make sure that is what you do - and what you want to get done has a lot greater chance of being completed. And don't over commit. Be realistic about the number of hours in a day and what you can physically achieve. For all the other stuff - outsource or leave out until you get the time.

That's all for now!