Chris Croft's Personal Blog

August 25, 2010

“It’s different for you, you’re self employed”

Filed under: Careers, Happiness, Managing People — chriscroft @ 6:43 pm

I often hear this when I’m running courses and I mention that I give out my mobile number to customers, or that I check my emails on holiday, or just that I want to do the best job I can, otherwise why bother?

But is it true that it’s different for someone who is self employed?

Sure I get quicker feedback on whether I do a good job or not (I starve!) while in larger organisations justice can be slow, or even non-existent. And yes, there is a feeling of ownership which is not so obvious in a larger company.

But I would ask: do you take some sort of pride in the work you do? Do you have some sort of ownership of what you do? Are you part of the company, or just employed by it?

And if you’re answering “I’m just employed, I just turn up in order to earn the money I need to live, I don’t really care” when isn’t it time to get another job – because you’re wasting 5 days a week in order to live for the other two – not enough!

What if you’re answering “well, of course I want to do a good job, and I do what I can, often despite the system, but you have to draw limits, why should I go beyond the call of duty? I don’t get paid any extra?” – and I guess this is probably most people’s position.

Well, I would say that you have to believe that you make a difference, you have to have some passion, otherwise… get another job!

You sell your time to your company, just like a self employed person, and you want to keep them happy and yourself happy. Only your best is going to be good enough for both parties.

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August 24, 2010

First thoughts on my iPad – how good is it?

Filed under: Computer tips, Gadgets — chriscroft @ 4:35 pm

What’s good

· The Instant On, no booting up at all. This makes it possible to use it as a diary and a jobs to do notepad, which a laptop just can’t do.
· Battery life is huge – if you use it all day you don’t even use half of the battery. So for typing and emailing and surfing and gaming on a train or air flight you’d have no worries about batteries. Again, laptops can’t compete with this.
· The typing is much better than I expected – not quite like a PC or laptop, but fine for long emails and word documents.
· Maps – The larger screen makes it much better than an iPhone, and the GPS is better than you get on a laptop, and these two come together when you use google maps when travelling. You get a nice big map, with a little dot (you) which moves along, like a sat nav, only you can see the whole screen, pinch to zoom, plan routes, see traffic jams on the map, it’s really easy. If you type curry it shows all the local ones. You can even use satellite view or google street view to check you’ve found the right place.
· Touch screen – this is so much nicer to use than a mouse. Great for the web, sifting through your emails, making mind maps, and the ipod music section.
· Overall for the traveller it’s a brilliant thing. Harder to justify the cost if you have a computer at work and one at home and your commute is 5 minutes.

What’s not good

· No flash – can be irritating, e.g. in facebook you can’t play videos, though there’s an ap for £3 that solves that, I think. And you tube and BBC iPlayer work just fine.
· Word processing isn’t brilliant. It’s fine for typing in a load of text (especially while on the sofa or in the garden, and the screen copes well with sunshine) but selecting text is fiddly and formatting is not great. Documents are best finished off at home on the PC.
· You can’t use it discreetly. Great if you’re a show-off, but if you want to quietly take some notes in a meeting forget it, everyone will say “Hey, is that an iPad! Can I play with it?

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