Dealing with Workplace Harassment

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Workplace harassment and office bullying are unfortunately common incidents these days. It refers to any repeated, intentional behaviour directed at an employee that is intended to degrade, humiliate, embarrass, or otherwise undermine their performance. It can come from colleagues, supervisors, or management, and is a real problem for workers at all levels. It’s no joke. By learning to recognize and address workplace bullying behaviour, you can help to create a healthier, more productive environment for yourself and your colleagues.

What women can do

  • Communicate your disapproval – If you can avoid the colleague who makes you uncomfortable, do so. If you have to work in close proximity to him, avoid being alone with him and tell him to stop his specific behaviour. If the person has sent you a joke through an email or SMS, reply through email or SMS when asking him to stop.
  • Keep a record – If your colleague isn’t getting the message, prepare to report him. Gather evidence to substantiate your claims. ‘Note down the date, time and details of each incident. Save any emails or text messages that contain inappropriate language. Try to use your mobile phone recorder to discreetly record his remarks.
  • Find a friend to share this information – Share the situation with a colleague you trust in the office. She may be able to keep a watchful eye on the situation. But be picky about who you share this information with, and ensure that this person is trustworthy. A senior colleague or mentor who carries more weight in the organisation would be ideal.
  • Formal complaint – If the above doesn’t work, make a formal complaint to senior members of the organisation, with whatever evidence or notes you have. Make the complaint in writing and keep a copy. Remember an oral complaint can be hushed up. Often women don’t report sexual harassment for fear they might lose their jobs, but unless you are willing to take action, your problem will persist.
  • Contact EEOC – If your complaint does not result in your supervisor or senior manager taking action, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which investigates sexual harassment incidents in the workplace. Inform the EEOC of your employer’s name, the name of the offender and the details surrounding the incidents.
  • File a lawsuit – After you file a complaint with the EEOC, you can possibly file a lawsuit. You can seek monetary damages, or try to get your job back if your employer fired you due to the incidents. If you plan to file a lawsuit, you should seek legal representation from an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases.

Tech Tools for Small Businesses

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Starting a new business can be tough, as obstructions you never imagined crop up. Limited time, manpower, and budgets can all be a factor as the workload starts to pile up and the bills come rolling in. With the right tools, small businesses can reach their potential. Below is a list of tools that small business owners can utilize.

1. For organization and productivity –

    • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere–on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
    • Trello – Visual project management system
    • Expensify – financial services startup that provides an online expense management service for customers worldwide.
    • Evernote – A suite of software and services that allow users to capture, organize, and find information across multiple platforms.

2. Cloud storage –

      • Dropbox – Provides a home for users’ most-important information.
      • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere — on the Web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
      • Apple’s iCloud – a mobile- and Web-based application that enables its users to store their information.
      • Microsoft OneDrive – A storage application that enables users to store and share photos, videos, documents, and more.

3. CRM tools –

  • Salesforce – A global cloud computing company that develops CRM solutions and provides business software on a subscription basis.
  • Act! – To organize customer details, increase productivity, and drive results.
  • SugarCRM – enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative CRM solution in the market.

4. Email marketing/marketing automation –

  • MailChimp – an email marketing service that helps businesses with newsletters, automated messages, and targeted campaigns.
  • Constant Contact – provides email, social media, and event marketing tools to help small businesses grow their customer base.
  • Emfluence – lets you create, deploy, and track multi-channel online marketing campaigns from one place.
  • InfusionSoft – provides sales and marketing automation software for small businesses that combines CRM, email marketing, and e-commerce.

5. Social media and content tools –

  • TweetDeck – A Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engaging on Web and mobile devices.
  • Sprout Social – provides a platform for businesses to manage social media engagement, publishing, and analytics.
  • Buffer App – helps users share social media content by scheduling online posts throughout the day.

Turn Your Expertise into a Business

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Subject matter specialization is an important skill set to call someone an expert in something. If you are an expert in something and you want to convert it in to business, you need to be accepted for your expertise. People need to see you in action. They need to see results. And, people should decide to buy the product or service you are willing to create out of your expertise. You need to set a plan of action. And, as always it all starts with a well-planned business strategy.

Do you know enough?
You have an expertise and want to start a business. Do you know enough about the industry? With industry background and know-how, you’ll be ahead of the curve. If you have a great idea, but aren’t familiar enough with the field to get started, use your network, speak with people who’ve started businesses in your industry to help you get up to speed quickly.

Surround yourself with people who share your idea
Hire people who share similar interests, if not passion! You can expect long work hours and hard days in the beginning, so personal drive and similar values with your colleagues will take you through initial turbulence.

Business Funds
You need funds. Smart fund allocation and streamlined spending is crucial for any business process. In reality, any kind of skill set can be streamlined to produce regular profits. While quantity matters a great deal to produce regular profits in any business, quality is crucial to attract regular and loyal customers to your service. Successful businesses never compromise on quality.

Time
Quality is achieved by investing the required amount of time. You will never achieve anything by rushing. Consistent and scheduled work culture is crucial for the success of any business process. Overworking and under working are both harmful for any kind of business. Overworking can lead to attitude saturation and eventual productivity mess up. Under working can kill profits.

Easy ways to turn your expertise into a business:

  • Consultancy services – If you have vast know-how and skills in a particular field, you can be paid lucratively by sharing your expertise with others.
  • Start a blog – If you have specialized knowledge about a particular topic, you can start a blog or a website on that subject. You can join affiliate programs or use advertisements to earn money from your blog/ website.
  • Teach what you know – If you have vast knowledge about a particular topic, you can offer lessons at a fee. You can begin by teaching at seminars or hire yourself out as a tutor.

Turning your expertise into a successful business not only allows you to be profitable while doing something you love; it helps set you up for lasting success. Most importantly, passion is central to making decisions that are in the long-term interest of the customer and the company, which will help you, establish sustainability and longevity for your brand.

What’s In a Name?

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Creativity is the essence of the tech world and it is evident even with the names of tech companies. There is a story behind the names of most of the companies.

Here’s a look how some of these well-known tech giants got their names:

  • Apple – Steve Jobs liked apples a lot. The other reason he named his company ‘Apple’ was that “Apple” was ahead of “Atari” in the phonebook and he used to work at Atari.
  • Amazon – Bezos wanted his book retail site to be so quick and easy that it seemed like magic. The site went online in 1995 with the name of Amazon, taken from the Amazon River for being the biggest river. Clearly, Bezos had big ambitions right from the start.
  • Google – Google took its name from a deliberate misspelling of Googol, the word that represents 10^100, or a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Why this? Simply because founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wanted to convey the huge amount of data they intended to make available.
  • Microsoft – The company was officially established in April 1975, with the name coming from a combination of “microprocessor” and “software” – which is fitting given that they were creating software for the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems’s (MITS) Altair 8800.
  • Oracle – This name started as the code for a project that co-founders Larry Ellison and Bob Oats worked on for the CIA. It was a database that was supposed to be able to answer any question about anything.
  • Mozilla – In 1994, when a team at Netscape sat around to think of names for a new browser to take on NCSA’s Mosaic browser, what they were looking for was something that would crush the competition. What they looked to was Godzilla. Combining Mosaic with the movie monster brings you to the current day name of Mozilla.
  • Asus – The name is derived from the mythological Greek winged horse Pegasus. According to the company’s own explanation it embodies the strength, purity, and adventurous spirit of this fantastic creature, and soars to new heights with each new product it creates.
  • Lenovo – The word is a combination of Le and Novo, meaning new in Latin.
  • Skype – It’s a combination of “sky” and “peer-to-peer”, shortened to skyper. The name ‘Skyper’ was already in use, so the new name became ‘Skype’.
  • Twitter – Founders first thought of ‘twitch’. But ‘twitch’ was not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So, they looked up dictionary and found ‘twitter’. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds.’ And that’s exactly what the product was.
  • eBay – The website started out as “AuctionWeb,” a part of the personal website of former Apple software engineer Pierre Omidyar. The website took off, and Mr. Omidyar decided to spin it off into its own entity and name it afterhis consulting firm, Echo Bay Technology Group. When the domain name echobay.com was taken, he switched it to ebay.com.
  • Verizon – According to Verizon’s corporate history, the name is a combination of the Latin words “veritas” and “horizon.” Veritas refers to truth and reliability, while horizon signifies forward-looking and visionary.
  • Blackberry – This name was coined in 1999 because the keys on the device resembled the drupelets on the fruit.

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi…..How These Terms Were Born?

Certain terms, which were once part of technical jargon, have taken place in our normal vocabulary. Ever wonder how these terms originated?  You will be surprised to find out the facts behind it.

  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth comes from the name of an ancient Danish king called Harald Bluetooth. What’s significant about King Bluetooth is that he united different regions and allowed them to communicate with each other.

 

  • Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi, as it turns out, doesn’t stand for anything. Phil Belanger, a founding member of the Wi-Fi Alliance, has gone on the record as saying the term was nothing more than a catchy word created by a brand consulting firm.

 

  • Troll – While the imagery of a goblin-like cave monster seems awfully apt, there’s actually more to the term than meets the eye. The word “troll,” you see, is also a verb meaning “to fish by trailing a lure or baited hook from a moving boat.”

 

  • Wiki – Credit for the first wiki is commonly given to a guy named Ward Cunningham, who came up with a site called WikiWikiWeb. Ward was wooed by the word wiki when he traveled to Hawaii, where he saw a “wiki wiki bus”. “Wiki” means “quick” in Hawaiian.

 

  • Ping – Ping, in its current form, traces back to a Unix-based network administration tool created in the early 80s. The program sends a data packet to a network-connected computer and then measures how long it takes for the system to respond.

 

  • Spam – Spam, according to most popular accounts, comes not from the questionable canned meat but rather from a 70s-era Monty Python sketch.

 

  • Cookie – The most common explanation suggests the term comes from Unix. In Unix, a “magic cookie” refers to a chunk of data that’s passed between two programs.

 

  • Bug – In 1946, Grace Hooper joined Harvard, where she traced an error in the computer due to a moth trapped in it. This bug was carefully removed, the word ‘bug’ is still being used to describe defects.

 

  • Hotmail – Its founder tried all kinds of names ending with “mail”. Later he chose “Hotmail”, as it contains all the letters “HTML” – the markup language used to write web pages.

 

  • Java – “Java” was selected from a list of suggestions, primarily because it is a popular slang term for coffee, especially that grown on the island of Java. As the programmers drank a lot of coffee, this seemed an appropriate name.

 

  • Python – Named after the television series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.

 

Want To Work at Google?

Among many IT professionals, working at Google is seen as a dream job. And no wonder. The flourishing company is a driving force in Internet development. Working for Google means working for an organization that’s extraordinarily well funded. It also means working alongside top talent. With as many applications as Google receives, the company has its pick of the best.

The good news is that Google is hiring. The bad news is that getting hired at Google isn’t easy. It requires a unique set of characteristics to land a gig with the search giant.

As per Google’s Director of Staffing, this is what you need to have, if want to be a ‘Googler’:

  • Entrepreneurial spirit– While working in the IT department of any large manufacturing facility might not require entrepreneurial spirit, working at Google most certainly does. With the search giant’s rapid growth and its aggressive moves in arenas held by competitors, the need for smart, self-motivated and self-starters seems clear. It is also important from company’s “20 per cent time policy” point of view. As per this policy, employees are free to pursue projects they’re passionate about on company time. It takes an entrepreneurial (and disciplined) spirit to use this unstructured time in ways that benefit the bottom line.

  • Business skills– Google prefers to hire a candidate with business skills, because such a person can relate business and technical aspects and look at the mission-critical needs to the company, and really understand some of the context around why we’re building some of the infrastructure.

  • Technical skills– Learn programming languages like C++, Java, Java Script, CSS etc. Understand algorithms and data structures. Get to know operating systems.

  • Problem solving skills– Google wants to hire candidates who have handled analytically difficult problems. They want someone who has actually interacted in a real-world situation and during an interview; the interviewers get a sense of what the candidate considers to be difficult.

  • Analytical skills– The skills that that differentiate you from rest of the pool. Google doesn’t care much about GPAs. According to them, in schools, people are trained to give specific answers. But they want people who like figuring out stuff where there is no obvious answer. They believe that GPAs and test scores don’t correlate with success at the company.

  • Leadership skills– They want people, who at the appropriate time, step in and lead when faced with a problem.

How To Get Hired in Silicon Valley?

Your resume is perfect, you are qualified, you have applied to hundreds of jobs in Silicon Valley, and yet you are not getting hired, right? Well, if this is your problem, then you are not alone.

If you want to fulfill your dream of being an employee of the most sought after region for techies, here are tips:

  • The easiest way to open yourself doors of top tech companies in the Silicon Valley is to enroll in some of the graduate schools. San Jose State University, UC, Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State University are among the top universities in the US from where the tech talent is placed by the hottest companies. So, if you have degree from one of these schools, you are in demand!

  • Most of the candidates want work for Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. But the reality is for every open position, they get around 250 applications. The competition is fierce for getting into these companies. So, you need to look beyond these companies. Consider start-ups which have started receiving funding. You can contact them directly and send them your resume. Remember, start-ups are not getting 250 resumes for every open position they have.

  • Make your resume tells the recruiter only the important points – your contact information, education and work experience. Don’t include your other interests, hobbies in resume. Resume should have action verbs like “Designed”, “Developed”, “Created”, “Sold” to describe what you have done so far that could benefit his/her company.

  • Network with the people who are already working there. Ask them how they got the job, which skill sets are in demand in their companies, hiring process etc. Most of the times it is easier to get interview calls if you apply through employee referrals.

  • When you go for an interview, show your passion for that company. The interviewer should see your excitement to work there.

  • Generally, Silicon Valley companies don’t hire management trainees. They want their employees to be productive right after they join. This doesn’t mean you have to have at least 5 years of experience to get hired. But, during interview you have to show your ability to grasp things quickly and get started immediately. You cannot expect a long term training program before you start contributing here.

  • Regularly browse through the job search sites such as TheGongzuo.com to know what the Silicon Valley tech companies are looking for. You get a fair idea about which skills to pickup to increase the probability of getting hired.