Corporate Eye

Summer Fun


Summer isn’t really less fraught than the rest of the year, but we keep on thinking there’s more time to play during the warmer months . . .

In the spirit of the season, here are a few ideas that have (or at least could have) something to do with careers/recruiting/work/job, with a little fun in the bargain:

  1. Catch up on your reading. If you haven’t already followed last year’s Summer Reading suggestions—why not now?  And add to the list Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist:  The New Rules for Success, a quirky look at what works—and what matters—in today’s employment environment.  Some chapter titles to give you the flavor:  First-Time Managers Do Not Need to Suck; Sex Discrimination Is Everywhere, So Don’t Try To Run; and Getting a Promotion Is So Last Century.
  2. Start your own blog. Seriously.  TypePad is super-friendly, offers dozens of great designs, and gives you a 30-day free trial or even a free microblog.  WordPress also has a free version.  Don’t think about it in terms of an audience–blogging is a great way to talk to yourself!—but if you want to do something more in the professional line, you can start your own blog on with almost no effort.  (Extra motivation: bloggers can compete during July to win an iPad.)
  3. Get some business cards. No, not those dull ones you already have a box of.  Some really great ones from MOO.  MOO offers a wonderful array of designs, or you can upload your own images—and every card in your order can have a different design if you want to go nuts.  These cards really do grab attention, so they are worth the small investment.  Use them to invent an extra/alternative version of yourself, start that freelance thing you’ve been thinking about, or add some snap to your professional image.
  4. Organize your life. That’s a big one—but hope springs eternal, so if you’ve already run the gamut of time management methods with no luck, the Pomodoro Technique may be just what you’re looking for.  All you need is one of those kitchen timers that looks like a tomato, plus a free ebook from the Pomodoro website. You’ll either love it or hate it, but you’ll get some fun from the try-out.  And some people say this method worked for them when nothing else did.  (Pomodoro is Italian for “tomato,” by the way.)

Enjoy!  And if you guessed that today’s illustration is from the 1804 edition of Youthful Sports, give yourself ten points.

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.