All entries for Wednesday 12 January 2005

January 12, 2005

Yahoo Desktop Search

Writing about web page

Amit Agarwal has as a piece on the new desktop search tool from Yahoo. I’ve been using Copernic for the past few weeks, having sampled and subsequently ditched similar offerings from Google and Microsoft. The Yahoo interface isn’t as ‘pretty’ as that of Copernic, as regards functionality, it’s fine. The ability to preview media files from within its Preview Pane is a welcome addition.

Desktop search tools are a godsend for anyone who’s managed to amass vast amounts of data on the PC. Yahoo’s offering currently gets my vote, though that may soon change given the much welcome competition in the market. (It’s also free, for those who need an extra incentive to give it a go).

A job for life?

Globalisation has, and is destined to being great benefits to all parties involved. In recent times however, the increased prosperity of countries such as India and China has caused great concern amongst many groups fearing for the certainty of their jobs. The growth of such regions should be welcomed in my view.

It’s easy to accuse blue-collar critics of the global marketplace of being luddites, unwilling to make essential short term sacrifices. However, when stories of financial sector work being carried out abroad arise, my state of mind definitely changes. Surely attending a top class university and coming away with a marketable degree would provide guaranteed job security! It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but globalisation and technical progress will surely help eliminate the concept of a ‘job for life’, regardless of our field.

I’ll outline three things employees could keep in mind to help minimise the likelihood of being left in the lurch unexpectedly. Without having had much experience in the workplace, the extent to which the ideas are applicable to different sectors is up for question. Still, they’re things I’ll be bearing in mind when the world of work finally becomes inevitable.

1.Increase depth of knowledge

In a work environment it’s easy to carry out day to day tasks, utilising existing skills, whilst ignoring new developments in the field. Staying current with the state of your company’s market provides an idea of its current health and likely obstacles/opportunities in the future, thus minimising potential for unwelcome surprises. Staying current with new (or older, alternative) technologies and methodologies provides ideas on how additional value can be added to a business’ operations. Clinging to well established or obsolete methods of doing things, due to complacency or laziness, is a sure way to lose any advantage held over fellow employees.

For a salesman, this may involve taking courses on cold calling or persuasion. For someone in the IT sector, this may mean learning a new programming language. For a manager, this may mean consolidating knowledge of managerial styles and theories of employee motivation.

As an employer it makes sense to not only retain, but to reward employees who demonstrate valuable insight into customers/the market and who have skills which aren’t easily replaced.

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