Productivity

How to win at learning

Are you constantly learning by reading books, listening to blogs and watching videos? I was until I realised that I was not applying 90% of what I learnt. Filling my brain with information that I was not using or retaining, wasted precious time that I could never get back. [pullquote align="normal" cite="Benjamin Franklin"]Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.[/pullquote] This post will show some of the techniques I use to get started, learn, apply and keep going. (more…)

By Nicholas Foster, ago
Personal Development

How to respond to feedback in your performance review

As part of your annual performance review, you will get a lot of feedback.

How you react to this feedback and what you do with it, is all under your control.

Reacting the right way and taking positive action will ensure you grow and are more successful in your future career.

I know this can be difficult, so I am going to show you how to respond to feedback and get the outcome you want.

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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Personal Development

How to prepare for your performance review

As the leafs fall from the trees to prepare for next years growth, it is a good time for you to start reflecting on this year as well as preparing for the year to come.

Yep, it is time to prepare for that annual performance review.

This post will show you practical actions you can use to help you prepare for this important review as well as tips for the meeting itself. (more…)

By Nicholas Foster, ago
Productivity

Pomodoro Technique

Do you find yourself at the end of the day wondering where all the time went or find it hard to get everything done that you need too?

If so, then you should try the pomodoro technique. I have used it for 4 weeks now and found it extremely effective.

Let me tell you some more… (more…)

By Nicholas Foster, ago
Personal Development

How to become a software developer without a degree

You can have a great career as a software developer without a degree.

I don’t have a degree and I have had an amazing career in software development. Today, I am going to show you how I slipped in the back door of companies whose first filtering technique is looking for a degree. Would it of been easier with a degree?  At the start yes, but I would not have changed my career journey.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well. - Theodore Roosevelt
Without further ado, here is my story.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Influence

How to ask for a pay rise

Are you struggling with how to ask for a pay rise?
Do you know if the time is right to ask?
Do you know how to prepare?
Do you know the best way to act during the meeting? I have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to negotiating pay rises. I have been the manager as well as the employee. I am going to show you what I expect as a manager during a negotiation as well as what I have done to get a pay rise myself.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Influence

How to get noticed at work

Work is a competitive environment and being visible is a must if you want to succeed in your career. Are you having trouble getting noticed at work? Are you stuck in the same company position whilst your peers progress? If so, then I am going to show you some practical actions that will raise your head above your peers and get you the recognition you deserve. (more…)

By Nicholas Foster, ago
Resources

Overcoming holiday blues, my proven routine

If you are like me, you take a well deserved summer holiday with your family in August. It is a great time to spend a week or two with them to relax, over indulge and spend quality time together.
I have just come back from a fantastic two week holiday in Belek, Turkey. I am rested, tanned and have gained 3 kgs, but am dreading going back to work.
Are you in the same boat?
If so, I have a routine that I have developed over many years that helps me get over those post holiday blues.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Resources

How to make extra money from side projects

 Are you unhappy with your current salary or contract rate?
If so, then you should look at creating extra money from side projects. I have been doing side projects for many years now that have paid for the latest tech and luxurious holidays. They have been fun, improved my current skills and taught me new ones. To help you get started, I am going to show you four extra income streams that I have used and been successful with.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Resources

Should I go contracting?

 I guarantee this question constantly goes through your mind, especially at year end when your salary adjustment or performance appraisal does not meet your expectations.
After the extended break though, you always make the decision to stay another year, work harder if that is even possible and hope it gets better this year. But is that the right decision for you and your family? Do you feel anxious that you have even made the right decision? I have been a contractor for a number of years and an employee for even longer and am going to outline what I have experienced to help you evaluate whether you are making the right decision.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Resources

Technical track or management, cannot decide?

This is one of the toughest decisions every software developer (me included) has to make during their career. It is also a decision you may revisit again later in your career when your aspirations change. This post will provide you with some helpful and practical decision making advice that I have used whilst mentoring many developers through this difficult decision process. (more…)

By Nicholas Foster, ago
Personal Development

Are you struggling to deal with change?

The one thing apparent in today’s competitive business world is that change is constant and your ability to deal positively with change is important for you, your career and the company you work for. Whenever I am informed of a change, the following thoughts go through my head, why change it, I liked it that way, it will never be as good again. Does this sound familiar? Getting past this mindset can be difficult and if you are struggling to deal with change then the following steps can help you move forward. (more…)

By Nicholas Foster, ago
Leadership

Always lead with a smile

Whether you are leading a team, project or any other initiative, it is critical that you give off a positive can do attitude, even if your work or personal life is not going well.

The way you walk, your facial expression and your communication style can have a positive or negative effect on the people you are leading i.e.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Influence

How to ask for a promotion and succeed

The previous organisation I worked for had an extremely effective and tough promotion process with independent employee evaluators and senior promotion boards. The candidates that I and my management team put forward in the last three years were all promoted apart from one.

The reason for the high success rate was due to our evaluation of whether the potential candidate was ready to be promoted. Today, I am going to share this evaluation criteria with you, so that when you ask for a promotion you have all the evidence you need to present a strong case to your manager. Please ensure however that you are truthful with yourself on this evaluation as it will be important if you want to achieve success.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago
Influence

Want to improve your performance rating?

I am really pleased that you have arrived here as you have shown proactivity in wanting to understand how you can improve your performance assessment rating, unlike others I have seen who meet their objectives and complain that their rating does not match their expectations.

The following post will show you the techniques I used to improve my rating with multiple managers throughout my long corporate career as well as some practical ideas to take away with you.
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By Nicholas Foster, ago