Think about how much time you spend in the office each day…and now, consider how much you actually get done. Chances are you’re not as productive as you could be. The good news is, you can boost your productivity—and decrease your stress—by consistently implementing a few simple changes at your workplace.
1. Prep your space for success
The foundation for productivity is an efficient environment—one that lets you find what you’re looking for quickly, and offers easy access to the things you work with most. To turn your office into a productive space, start with a purge: go through your desk drawers, filing cabinets, shelves, stacks of paper, and random cluttered areas, and throw away everything you don’t need.
Once you’ve pared down your office, the next step is rearranging. Think about how you work, and adjust your furniture layout accordingly. For example, if you have to get up from your desk every time you throw something away, you’re likely to leave trash on your desk or floor—so move the wastebasket close to your desk.
Finally, organize your desktop so that it contains only the supplies and devices you use on a daily basis. Everything else should have a permanent home where it can be returned when you’re finished.
2. Develop a system
When you have everything purged and organized, you’ll need a system to help you keep things in place. There’s no right or wrong way to create a system—simply use a strategy that suits the way you work.
A few helpful tips for developing organization systems:
3. Implement basic time management
For many, “time management” sounds like a complicated corporate objective that wastes more time than it saves while you’re trying to learn it. The truth is that time management doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a few simple strategies can save you hours every week.
Keep a running to-do list of all your projects, appointments, and deadlines. If you’re using a mobile device to help you keep track, make sure you’re able to sync with your primary computer—it’s easy, automatic, and ensures that your list is at your fingertips no matter what you’re doing.
Choose an hour or so each day to focus solely on projects and tasks. Make sure to build a time cushion into your schedule to account for any (usually inevitable) interruptions. You can also tackle larger projects more confidently by breaking them down into shorter tasks that can be completed one at a time.
4. Create a communication schedule
Most people are not surprised to learn that email is one of the top office time-wasters, and phone calls are a fairly close second. Rather than continuing to handle emails and phone calls all day as they come in—and break concentration on the tasks you’re working on while you deal with them—set aside a few short blocks of time each day to deal with communication.
You can take 10 to 15 minutes in the morning, and again in the afternoon, to tackle your inbox and return phone calls. The rest of the time shut off all of your notifications so you can work uninterrupted. You may be shocked at how much time this saves!
You don’t have to reserve productivity for those rare days when you’re feeling energetic and ultra-determined. When you make organization and time management a habit, you can have a productive day, every day.
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More consumers than ever are using mobile devices to compare and research products, find great deals, and even make purchases. The numbers continued to rise through 2013, and this year analysts expect to see the biggest mobile year yet. Is your company ready to cash in on mobile?
As the use of mobile for commerce continues to expand, new mobile marketing strategies are emerging to keep up. Here are a few trends expected to rise this year that can help your business get in on the lucrative mobile market.
Geo-targeting (location-based marketing)
Most smart phones and tablets have built-in GPS, helping millions of drivers give up using dash GPS consoles and paper road maps. But marketers can also use this technology to target consumers in real-time with relevant offers, based on geographic location.
Geo-targeting can also be used inside stores, restaurants, and other physical businesses with micro-location-based strategies. The possibilities for in-store targeting range from relevant coupons and offers, to integrated “check inventory” features, to specific department targeting. Geo-targeting will be able to act as a two-way channel, capturing customer data while sending offer notifications.
The potential reach of social media marketing is unquestionably broad, with major platforms boasting hundreds of millions of active users (or in the case of Facebook, more than a billion). A broad reach is great—but the problem arises with reaching your actual target market, which often represents a very small percentage of the total possible viewers.
Narrowcasting is a mobile marketing strategy that aims to create the opposite effect. The more personalized delivery methods of mobile allow your business to create and deliver customized content only to significantly more qualified leads. This translates to less marketing dollars spent for a higher ROI.
Multimedia Messaging Service and Rich Media Messaging
The primary vehicle for mobile marketing has been SMS, or Short Message Service, for several years. Most marketing messages are text-based, typically with one link that leads to a website, landing page, or social media. However, with video now accounting for 50 percent of mobile traffic, the marketing vehicle is shifting gears.
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) has grown 40 percent year after year, and analysts predict that 2014 will see the growth rate for this vehicle explode. Even more popular is Rich Media Messaging (RMM)—similar to MMS, but with built-in responsive design that ensures messages are formatted correctly for the device it’s being viewed on. Currently, RMM enjoys open rates more than 99 percent, and twice the conversion rates of SMS.
Mobile ad gamification
Apps and games are practically synonymous. The explosive popularity of apps like Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and the recently discontinued Flappy Birds illustrates our competitive nature—and the fact that we’re far more likely to use something if it’s presented as a game.
Marketers who give people the opportunity to gamify their experience, whether it’s competing with friends, unlocking content, acquiring badges, or racking up points, will see greater engagement and higher click-through rates. They’ll also experience lower uninstall rates and, hopefully, more conversions.
If you are looking to take advantage of the mobile marketplace, contact The Armada Group today for the top IT talent in California. If you are in need of Silicon Valley recruiters, we have the experienced team you are looking for.
Just as with every field, not all IT administrator salaries are the same. Your earnings—both your potential and actual income—can be affected by a number of factors. Figuring it out can be tricky, but it’s good to know what you should be worth while you’re on the job search path. You can use your estimated salary as a negotiating point with potential employers, as well as a tool to discount lowball offers.
Types of IT administrators
One of the major factors in calculating IT administrator salary is the type of job you’re qualified to work. There are dozens of possibilities here, from broad administrator roles to specialized niches. Three of the most common general categories are:
Network and computer systems administrator: This is the broadest type of IT administrator. The role may be described as both network and systems admin, especially for smaller companies—but in larger companies, there may be separate positions for network administrators and systems administrators.
Duties and responsibilities for these positions tend to overlap, which is why they’re often combined. However, when they’re available as separate roles, the systems administrator is usually the more skilled—and therefore the higher paid—of the two.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for:
Database administrator: This highly sought-after position is becoming increasingly important to organizations in the age of Big Data. Database admins can find work on a variety of levels, from database integration to creation, development, and maintenance. They may work in-house for companies, or as external consultants.
Indeed.com reports that the average salary for a database administrator is $74,000.
Web administrator: Specialists in maintaining websites, the web administrator approves content, monitors speed, analyzes data on traffic patterns, and implements user suggestions for improvements on websites. In today’s business culture, this role is often blended with other IT responsibilities—so the average salary for web administration alone is $61,000, according to Indeed.com.
Factors that affect IT administrator salaries
Outside the type of IT admin role, there are many things that affect your salary potential. These can include:
A working knowledge of your anticipated salary can help you ensure that you’ll be paid what you’re worth as an IT administrator. Take the time to calculate your potential salary before your next interview, and you’ll be able to negotiate with confidence. If you are looking for IT administrator jobs in San Francisco CA, contact our team today.
In today’s job market, front-end developers are facing competition for the best positions out there. If you’re looking to land your dream job, you need to be able to stand out from the crowd in this hot market.
What can you do to differentiate yourself as a front-end candidate? Here are three ways to impress potential employers and get the front-end dev job you want.
1. Make your portfolio pop
In addition to cover letters and resumes, front-end engineer candidates need to worry about having a portfolio. These are typically in the form of websites that showcase your experiences, your skills, and coding projects you’ve worked on.
Many recruiters and hiring managers give your portfolio more weight than your resume during the hiring process. The best thing you can do to give yourself an edge is to make sure you have a great portfolio, with at least one good, clean sample website.
2. Know (more than) your stuff
Improve your desirability by knowing something that other front-end developers typically don’t. Some of the possibilities with the highest potential include interactive design, responsive design, Web GL, AJAX, and Android or iOS development.
Get active with personal projects
More so than other hiring managers, IT recruiters and managers are practically guaranteed to look you up on Google. Make sure you’re ready to impress by having some personal projects developed and ready to find, such as apps, demos, and open source projects.
You should also be active online in the places that count. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is detailed and current, along with any other social media sites you use. It’s in your best interests to join and be active in one or more popular developer communities, too. A few of the best known include Stack Overflow.
Your resume is just the starting point to open a conversation with recruiters and hiring managers. Give yourself the best possible chance at landing the front-end developer job you want by using these tips to stand out and get noticed.
If you are looking for front-end engineer jobs in Silicon Valley CA, contact our team today.
While the economy is showing signs of recovery, CIOs and hiring managers are still cautious about adding new positions. The latest information from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that only 77,600 IT jobs have been added over the last 12 months, with some late 2013 months showing losses of a few thousand jobs.
However, there is some good news on the IT job front. This year, more companies are increasing their hiring budgets in order to bring in more skilled IT contractors.
Cautious CIOs lead to increased reliance on outsourcing
The world of technology is changing faster than ever, with everything moving toward mobile, cloud, and wireless. These rapid shifts have left many companies with aging, legacy infrastructures—and without the budgets to upgrade.
Since hiring new, full-time employees to keep up with the latest technologies represents a significant investment that’s often outside the budget, HR professionals are turning to IT contractors for help.
A recent study from IT recruiting and consulting firm Mondo, drawing on a survey of IT decision makers and data from their contract IT placement network, found that 32 percent of respondents plan to increase their contractor budgets, and 48 percent will hire more IT contractors than permanent staff over the next 12 to 18 months. OnForce, another IT contract staffing provider, says the findings are consistent with their client experiences.
Popular skill sets for IT contractors
What are CIOs and hiring managers looking for in outsourced IT? Developers and marketers are in particularly high demand, across a variety of disciplines and platforms. Nearly every type of business is looking, but those most likely to increase contract spending include the publishing, communications, media, and higher education markets.
The Mondo survey reports that 73 percent of respondents are currently using IT contractors for:
A further 30 percent will outsource app development, and 27 percent will contract for web and mobile development, over the next 12 to 18 months.
Fluke or emerging pattern?
Is the trend toward hiring more IT contractors permanent, or will companies go back to hiring more full-time staff once the economy stabilizes further? Factors such as an aging workforce, an increased demand for flexibility, and streamlined costs point to a pattern that is here to stay.
OnForce reports an increase in monthly applicants to its Workforce-as-a-Service from around 750 to approximately 1,000 in recent months, and that number is growing. In fact, it is expected that the number of IT contractors in the workforce will double in 2014, and outsourced IT services will remain the norm for a few years, or longer.
If you are looking for IT contract work in Silicon Valley, contact our team to learn more about employment opportunitites.