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Richard Spragg

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Top Stories by Richard Spragg

As early as the eighteenth century, letters of introduction were a part of polite society. The practice spread to American shores from Europe. They have changed over time. Letters of recommendation became self written, they became more detailed - listing everything about a person's accomplishments and background. But they remain a written introduction to a complete stranger, vouching for a person's credentials. That has not changed. These days we call them resumes. In 250 years we've invented electricity. We've invented cars, airplanes and computers. Twelve of us have walked on the moon. (Unless you're one of the 20% of this population that don't believe that ever happened.) Yet if one of those astronauts wanted a job forty years later, pursuing whatever field of engineering he first emerged from, he would need to sit down and write a resume. Overall, I'd say that the... (more)

The Most Important 10 Seconds of Your Career - Are You Ready?

So you've got your resume together and it's looking good. You've got your past experience laid out clearly, you have an appropriate level of detail about the things you've done. You've got your academic qualifications listed out in the right order and again, the right level of detail. You've got no gaps anywhere. No rambling personal statements. A couple of things you do outside work for conversation starters. It's good. Well done. You're not getting a job. Talk to anyone who works in recruiting for a large employer and they'll tell you about the stack of resumes they have to go ... (more)

Cracking the Myth of Effective Multitasking

It was only fairly recently that I cracked the myth of multitasking, and found an attitude toward it that I am comfortable with. These days, I see it this way. A housewife (if you'll forgive the 1950s stereotype that follows - but the idea of the multitasking superwoman is perfect for this purpose) needs to cook dinner, tidy up the lounge of toys and change a nappy. She leaves some sauce simmering on the stove, picks up a couple of soft toys and throws them in the toy chest, then takes care of the baby's nappy. She returns child to crib, washes her hands, picks up the books that... (more)

Snakes and Ladders

The only thing you know for certain about the budget, said an old mentor of mine, is that it's wrong. One way or another, you're going to have issues with the plans you made in November for the year ahead. Not surprising, given that you aimed to somehow foresee the next year's market conditions, predict the performance of your customers and anticipate everything from super storms to the attrition of key personnel.  Then you reconciled this guess work with your shareholders' aspirations - which are seldom modest or undemanding - to produce ‘the plan'. Beyond the obvious problem... (more)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Being Wrong

There are times in life when you have to put your hands up to being in the minority, especially when you're in the business of putting your opinions out there in the market for all to see. As a lifelong holder of minority opinions, this is not new to me. So effusive was the disagreement with my first blog in this series, that arrived from all corners of our growing community here, that I feel compelled to present the opposite view. I will wipe the spit and fumes from my face and in all probability convince myself that I was actually wrong in the first place. The source of our di... (more)