Posts tagged ‘professionalism’

August 18, 2011

Green Collar

One of the great advantages of being a knowledge-based professional with a very specific work flow — i.e., a research report is submitted, edited, checked for compliance, returned to author, goes through some back and forth, then signed off and published/distributed — is that I can work from anywhere in the world, in any time zone; my kick-ass laptop and reliable WIFI service are all the “office” I need. It’s not in my nature, nor is it possible to “slack off”; the job is strictly task based: reports must be read and returned in a timely manner, publishing deadlines must be met, administrative data must be kept up-to-date. I’ve been successfully working in this highly efficient and win-win telecommuter manner for the past eight years or so, and I find it incredible that there continues to be debate on the matter.

Just today, LinkedIn featured a story from Fast Company entitled Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?, a title I find, oh, just slightly condescending, to be as polite as possible about it. And it’s quite amusing because the determining factors all hinge on whether the employee rates this consideration. I believe it would be far more useful to create a similar infographic for management, with questions along the lines of:  “Are you a control freak? micro-manager?” “Do you believe your employees are capable of doing their jobs without your constant supervision?” “If you can’t physically see an employee, do they no longer exist?” “Do you know how to use email? a cellphone? land line? IM? Skype?Webex?” Well, I could go on — and on — but will refrain for the sake of brevity.

Anyhoo … this new infographic came across the wire this afternoon and I thought I’d share it. Not nearly so paternalistic in tone as the FastCompany/Mindflash version and speaks to what I believe are the obvious advantages (to employees, managers, and the environment) of corporations re-tooling their antiquated analog attitudes about “work”.

And for your listening pleasure …

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August 16, 2011

For my pals in production …

… you’ve probably heard most of these before, or at least a version of them. I certainly have, both while freelancing and also, somewhat surprisingly, from various bosses in the brick-and-mortar workplace.

Aren’t they all just so adorable … those clients from HELL!?

Click image ... better to laugh than cry!

July 28, 2011

They’ll Never Know

As editors of written copy and report presentation, our job is to be invisible and help the author shine. Sure, we could let a badly capitalized headline go out and 99% of the readership probably wouldn’t consciously notice. But we notice, and we know the report has more authority when small details like have been corrected.

And therein lies some of the frustration of having a career in financial services in such a role. This business, like any other business, is results oriented. Quantified. But for the multitude of us who work on the support side, making direct sales or getting a client to pay for our efforts isn’t an option. Yet we make a solid contribution to the final product and sometimes, I think, our role is wildly misunderstood, if not outright overlooked.

By ensuring that proper disclosures are in place every single time, we might have saved the company a headache with the regulators and possibly a steep fine. But that’s what they pay us to do, right? We know that.

Or we might have caught a valuation metric that was an anomaly in the comp table, questioned the analyst, and requested some clarification in the text. Or simply done the math and discovered the target wasn’t matching up. This kind of observation and intervention can help the analyst side-step the awkwardness of having the sales desk or a client scratching their heads asking, what the heck? But what’s it worth?

And sure, we might have helped the company avoid a million-dollar lawsuit by rephrasing an analyst’s pro-oil diatribe against an aboriginal leader who was backtracking on development plans … but by the time the report hits the wires, nobody knows we did that. Or really cares.

Or we tweaked a graphic just a few points higher to better position it in the story, maybe cropped out some extraneous noise, changed a font style/size, searched a source on the web. All important details, all contributing to the polished look of the finished project, perhaps even helping build an analyst’s ranking, yet all necessarily covert.

These little details matter A LOT to us, even if we know that few end-users consciously notice or even realize at all that deliberate thought has been put into every.single.thing. And sure, stuff can slip past our notice as well … but the dread upon realizing that has happened is — whew — at least somewhat mitigated in this day and age by the ease of making a correction and reposting the file. Nobody dies, right? so try to keep some perspective will ya?! : )

I guess this ramble is all by way of saying, keep the faith fellow editors. What we do matters, even if it’s invisible!

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