Saturday, September 29, 2007

Working Mothers Want to Stay on the Job

An overwhelming majority of working mothers report that, if there were no obstacles, they would continue working, and most say that their work/life balance is always right or is right most of the time, according to the results of new Accenture research.

In an online survey of more than 700 working mothers in mid- to senior-level management positions, nearly 90 percent of the respondents reported that, if there were no obstacles, they would work either full-time, part-time or under a flex-time arrangement (reported by 31 percent, 26 percent and 33 percent of respondents, respectively). Just 11 percent said they would not work at all.

Additionally, almost three-quarters (74 percent) say that their work/life balance is always right or is right most of the time, and nearly seven in 10 respondents (69 percent) believe that women can "have it all."

"Leading employers are offering innovative programs that help their employees balance their work and family commitments,” said Jill Smart, Accenture’s chief human resources officer. These companies understand that to meet the needs and realities of today’s workforce, they must offer employees choices across the lifecycle of their careers, providing new solutions at different points in employees' lives."

According to respondents, flex-time, part-time and a modified work week are the three most commonly offered flexibility programs (cited by 61 percent, 51 percent and 44 percent of respondents, respectively). But, while 37 percent say their companies offer telecommuting as a work option, that program (at 50 percent) tops the wish list of respondents to whom it’s not offered.

Other programs that respondents want but that are not offered by their employers include flex-time, employer-provided alternative day care and a modified work week (cited by 47 percent, 44 percent and 40 percent of respondents, respectively). Just 17 percent report that their employers do not offer any flex programs.

Top Five Reasons Why You Should Freelance Part-time Or Full-time

The word freelance was first coined by Sir Walter Scott, a renowned Scottish historical novelist and poet, in 1819 when he wrote his novel Ivanhoe, to refer to a medieval mercenary warrior. The term has then shifted into more figurative meanings. In the 1860s, freelance became a figurative noun; in 1903, it was officially recognized as a verb by etymologists like the Oxford English Dictionary.

Today, the word freelance has changed into different forms: as a noun, freelance or freelancer; as a verb, a photographer who freelances; and as an adverb, he works freelance.

Freelancing has become a career and lifestyle choice. It has given more people a variety of benefits, and these people feel there is no better option because freelancing offers a lot of flexibility.

Many people choose to leave the security of their day jobs and engage in freelance work due mainly to the following factors:

REASON # 1: Variety of jobs. More people are drawn to freelancing for this reason alone. Freelance work offers a greater variety of assignments compared to regular employment. And with the Internet offering more and more opportunities, freelancing becomes a goldmine for those who seek good opportunities and better projects, not to mention higher paying jobs. A freelancer can also take on different jobs at one time. He/she can write feature articles while designing a website.

REASON # 2: Fast turnaround of projects. Most freelance jobs are time bound. Freelancers can do these jobs fast and move on to new projects as soon as they finish the job.

REASON # 3: More freedom, more flexibility. Freelancing can give you the freedom to choose the place, date and manner in which to do work. Though some freelancing schemes require contracts, freelance still spells a “no-employer no-employee” relationship. Freelance work offers more freedom for someone who does not want to be confined in an 8 to 5 or 9 to 6 work scheme. The freelancer is free to choose his working hours and be his/her own boss. Because of the freedom in the work schedule, freelancing gives a person more time to pursue other interests or take on more jobs. Other freelancers also consider they can even take care of their family better as soon as they start freelancing.

REASON # 4: Improved income and savings. Freelance workers can usually command higher income rates for their projects because they are hired for their specific talents and skills. This is a big plus because they are paid higher rates, yet do not have to work full-time. Though income rates for freelancers vary, most freelancers charge either by the hour, by the day, or per-project. Others use value-based pricing methods instead of imposing a flat rate. Payments are arranged based on the agreement, and could be done upfront, percentage upfront, or paid whenever the project is completed. For others, a staggered payment scheme may be agreed upon.

REASON # 5: Today, freelancers can easily find work through the Internet. The Internet has been a good facilitator of freelancers and employers around the world. These jobs can range from writing short articles to language tutorials to architectural designs. The demand to complete projects through freelancing is very high, as shown by the thousands of projects posted on the Internet.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The 12th Annual Webby Awards Kicks-Off Call for Entries

Giving everyone from Internet upstarts to international advertising agencies to media powerhouses a chance to share the stage with the likes of David Bowie, Al Gore, and Prince, The 12th Annual Webby Awards today kicked-off its annual call for entries with more than 30 new categories.

Categories making their debut this year recognize achievement in the rapidly expanding fields of Internet video, interactive advertising, and mobile content.

The Webby Awards will honor work in new video categories including Music, Sports, and Travel. New advertising categories include Integrated Campaigns, Online Guerilla Marketing, Mobile Advertising, and Online Commercials while Entertainment, Gaming, and Social Networking, are among the new mobile awards.

To enter work in more than 100 categories, visit The early entry deadline is October 26, 2007.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Survey Points to "Creativity Gap" in U.S. Workplace

At a time when many economists and futurists are pointing to creativity and innovation as one of the cornerstones of U.S. competitiveness in the years ahead, a new survey finds that, while an overwhelming majority of American workers believe they are instinctively creative, fewer than two in three think they are tapping their creative capacities on the job.

The survey, commissioned by the Fairfax County (Virginia) Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), host of the 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy in October (, and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, found that 88 percent of U.S. workers consider themselves creative. But when it comes to creativity in the workplace, just 63 percent said their positions were creative, and a comparable 61 percent thought similarly about the companies for which they work.

This "creativity gap" – the disparity between the creative resources available and those being employed – can be an important indicator, experts say, in determining how well American companies are preparing for a future U.S. economy that will rely on creativity and innovation more than ever.

The survey found that most workers put a high premium on creativity at work. Seventy-five percent of respondents thought their employers valued their creativity, and even more telling, one in five (21%) said they would change jobs in order to be more creative at work even if it meant earning less money. Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed indicated they would move if it meant being part of a more creative community. This was especially true of younger workers ages 18-34 (37%).

The survey found that most workers put a high premium on creativity at work. Seventy-five percent of respondents thought their employers valued their creativity, and even more telling, one in five (21%) said they would change jobs in order to be more creative at work even if it meant earning less money. Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed indicated they would move if it meant being part of a more creative community. This was especially true of younger workers ages 18-34 (37%).

Florida will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy to be held October 24-25 in Fairfax County. Other prominent participants include Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Tom Friedman, futurist Alvin Toffler, FORTUNE magazine senior writer Anne Fisher and CNN journalist Frank Sesno.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Freelancing as a Work-At-Home Web Designer

One of the most lucrative venues the Internet has provided is in the field of web design. Today, more and more people and businesses need skilled freelancers who can create and maintain their websites and this is where web designers come in.

With the continuous roll out of broadband services in various parts of the globe, it is not surprising many businesses want to establish a corporate website. After realizing how the Internet can help their business, many company owners want to establish their own web sites to boost their marketing strategies.

Aside from jumping into the bandwagon of modern technology, having a website also gives companies a powerful online presence.

Becoming a Web Designer

Undeniably, the market is growing for freelance web designing today. If you are a web designer and you are considering freelance work, then it is now time to narrow down your options. The market for web designing continues to grow as long as there are companies who need web designers in creating a front for traditional businesses or services.

An excellent resource to learn about launching a freelance career is Andy Anderson’s book or audio book, “How to Make Money from Home as a Freelancer,” published by

Aside from having businesses as potential clients, freelance web designers can also rely on the billions of existing web pages on the Internet because these sites will need to be designed, built and maintained later on. If you're planning to do freelance web designing, then you should gain knowledge and experience to become one.

The first thing you need to consider is getting educated about the field. Today, there are many colleges and universities that offer multimedia courses and degrees. By enrolling in one of these educational institutions, you can learn different disciplines to become an expert in the field of freelance web designing.

Secondly, you need to reassesses your skills to become a successful freelance web designer. To become a competent web designer, you should be able to complete a web site on your own. By doing this, you will have the knowledge in designing the layout of your client’s site while designing the elements that involve the use of Photoshop and Illustrator (Adobe) or Fireworks and Freehand (Macromedia).

Also, to become a successful freelance web designer, you need to understand aspects such as: design and image optimization to give good download; making the site easy to use; making it more search engine friendly; and most importantly, making it cross browser compliant. You will also need to have a good knowledge of HTML code as well as how to use an HTML editor to create a web page.

If you'ret new in the industry of freelance web designing, you might be using Microsoft Front Page; but most freelancers say that newbies should veer away from using it because it has a lot of proprietary codes that are oftentimes non-cross browser compliant.

Macromedia's Dreamweaver is the best option to create a site because it will save you time and energy when compared to hand coding. Aside from that, it is also important for you to understand the HTML behind the design.

Aside from Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop with Imageready, both Illustrator, and Flash can also help you create better web sites.

Freelancing as a Web Designer

In the movie Star Trek, space is considered to be the final frontier. Since ordinary civilians are not yet able to complete the voyage to seek new worlds, the best thing anyone can do is reach out to people in different states and countries by communicating in cyberspace.

The Internet has become valuable for a lot of people. Not only can someone send an email or do research, this can also be used to transact business. This is better known as electronic commerce and the only way to do this is by creating a website.

The website should feature the products or services that the entrepreneur is offering. Those who want to sell NBA apparel should offer the merchandise so that customers can check it out. Those who like it can place an order and the only thing to do is pack it and send this to the recipient.

Not everyone is a computer expert or has the slightest inkling of how to make a website. Fortunately, the entrepreneur can get help from a freelance web designer who can put everything up and make it happen.

Illustrating or graphic designing is one of the industries where freelancing is abundant. Because the job can be arranged in a per project basis, more and more potential clients prefer to hire freelance illustrators or graphic designers because they don’t have to pay the artists just like the regular employees.

If you are in the field of illustration or graphic designing and you would want to accept freelance jobs or projects, then you should start building, promoting and marketing yourself. According to most freelance illustrators and graphic designers who are into the field of freelancing, a freelance graphic designer should be possess a dedicated passion for a demanding job and clients as well.

If you are a full time web designer and you are planning to go freelance, here's a set of considerations you might want to contemplate on before indulging into an adventurous yet demanding job.

1. Determine and set your goals. Just like in any job, becoming a freelance web designer will require you to set and determine your goals before finally jumping over a new set up. Since becoming a freelance web designer will eat much of your time especially if you're just starting, you need to contemplate if you should drop your day time job and if you can handle meticulous and demanding clients at hand.

Part of determining and setting your goals is asking yourself what you are getting out of the career shift and what made you decide to do this.

2. Assess yourself. Going freelance means you need experience, discipline, knowledge, and expertise in the field you are in. If you think you have these traits, then you should also assess if you have the drive and ambition to turn your skill into a success.

Also, you have to ask yourself if you have the willingness and the patience to start a new career. It is important that you have the talent, drive, and motivation to generate more income from your potential clients.

3. Check your business acumen. Knowing different business routes and knowing how to run a business will definitely help you become a successful freelance web designer.

4. Gauge your capability to decide. Decision-making is a very important aspect in freelancing. If you are really planning to freelance, then you should have the heart and the mind to decide. Since you'll be making a lot of decisions eventually, you should start learning to decide wisely.

5. Check your overall attitude towards shifting to a new working environment. Before finally jumping into freelancing, you should ask yourself how to handle stress, possible rejection, and competition.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Language is not logical, as even those behind the very best attempts at machine translation will happily attest to. Indeed, if I were to try and decode this article into German using something akin to Babel Fish, I'd end up with something closer to Fermat's Last Theorem than a guide on how to be a butt-kicking, name-taking freelance translator.

For prose in one language to reach another without it being cruelly and sometimes hilariously mangled, it needs that human touch. Many people understand translation is spending long hours burning the midnight oil with a dictionary in either hand, but that simply is not so. Being bi-lingual is one thing; being fluent and understanding the connotations and implications of prose in each language is an entirely different thing. And let's not forget about all that comes with working to be a skilled writer, as a complex and difficult personal enterprise.

Taking all of the above into account, as a freelance translator, your job will lie not in the hard, fast and loose distilling of basic meaning from one language to another, as in real-time verbal translation. No, instead you'll be faced with taking a written manuscript (be it technical or classical) and carefully translating it into the target language.

Sounds difficult? Certainly, but it's also rewarding! A writer who wants to rise to the top of his or her craft does well to take the time to not only write well, by the standards of their peers, but also to intimately comprehend the syntax and grammar of their chosen language.

One of the most oft-recommended pathways to marked improvement in an area like freelance translation is to dedicate yourself to intimately learning a second language beside your own mother-tongue. Besides the infinitely rewarding consequences (whether you're looking for new social connections, a complex intellectual challenge or simply a way to qualify for far-flung international work), it can also act as a doorway to lucrative employment. As with most things, the more work you do, the better you get, the more work you get to do.

Why? Not only are translators rare, but they act in themselves as gateways to new markets. Right now, you're reading this article in English. While the native audience for the language is huge, an even greater percentage of the literate world has no access to it for a lack of English-language skills. Unlocking that massive percentile can mean a vastly improved gross turnover for any organization with a significantly established interest.

So, if one presumes you've got a serious handle on at least two languages and an eye for the written word, how do you go about cultivating a successful career from such a useful skill? Firstly, you build up your portfolio, and you make a name for yourself. Find magazine or newspaper articles and translate them (with all original credit attached, of course), and then post them to a free blog you can set up through online services such as Google's Blogger and Wordpress' blogging platforms.

As a step up, translate book prose from small or local book and magazine publishers, and attempt to get in touch with the appropriate publishers about producing a translated work. Never underestimate the value of pro-bono work. If it comes to that, look for restaurants and businesses that deal or sell using your languages of choice, and offer to provide them with the appropriate alternate signage should they be lacking it, or, alternately, should you find it lacking.
Websites often will accept offers to translate their content into new languages to increase their appeal. Trawling the SourceForge or FreshMeat databases for projects to fan-translate older video games scripts or to produce official translated versions of open-source software can net you with impressive credentials when you look to accept contract work from larger organizations.

Don't forget to practice technical translation, since we all know how prolific those little user-instruction booklets bundled with your latest microwave or vacuum cleaner are. You know, the ones with the seventeen different sets of translated instructions?

It won't be unusual to discover your writing skills can be just as in demand as those that power your incredible translation abilities. Always keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to combine the skill-sets of a writer and translator, as one who not only writes the original material but then goes on to translate it!

Translators often have to actively sell their skills to the market through cold calling and constant inquisitiveness regarding any potential need to produce translated material. Always draw the line at begging; but by the same token, don't be afraid to go in for the hard sell when you think it’s appropriate. Impress with your willingness to seek out work and to prove yourself, and you can often find yourself already in the door.

Brian Konradt has been a professional freelance writer for more than a decade. He writes regularly on freelance writing and writing careers.

Success is in the Cards with Advertising Careers

by Ysolt Usigan

They say TV rots your brain, but maybe sitcoms of the past serve a purpose beyond amusement after all. While most TV programs are fiction -- aside from the onslaught of reality TV, that is -- shows of the past are sometimes based on fact and can provide viewers with accurate depictions of the lives of others. Take a career in advertising, for instance. On shows like "Bewitched" and "Who's the Boss?" viewers are clued in on the lives of advertising agents at home, as well as in the office. So if you're interested in earning an advertising degree and striving for advertising careers, read on (and watch the reruns) -- you might learn something.

Creativity Required in Advertising Careers

When it comes to advertising careers, while an advertising degree is a necessity, creativity also plays a large role. As was the case with Darrin Stephens, the mortal husband advertising executive on "Bewitched." From time to time, the source of his creativity was his wife Samantha. While she vowed to give up her witchcraft to become an ordinary suburban housewife, she never really gave up her heritage. Sometimes creeping into her husband's advertising career, Samantha's quirky ways would help her husband advance.

For example, there was a Halloween episode in which Samantha actively defied the fun holiday because it perpetuates the image that witches are ugly, mean, and wicked. Coincidently, Darrin was working on a candy campaign for Mr. Brinkman who wants to use the image of a witch that Samantha absolutely hates. Her supernatural ways take hold and she coerces Mr. Brinkman to use a beautiful witch instead. The unique advertising campaign was a success!

Advertising Careers May Let You Be the Boss

On "Who's the Boss," when Tony Micelli first moved into the Bower residence, Angela Bower worked for an advertising agency. After not being valued by her boss, it wasn't long until she ventured off to start her own advertising business. Taking most of her clients from her previous employment and hiring her mother as her secretary, Bower was able to make her own advertising agency work.

It was a wise career move indeed for the fictional character, but would it be a wise advertising career move for those in the real world to go from advertising account executive to chief advertising executive? And if so, what is the difference? While someone in this managerial position plans and directs all aspects of an organization's initiatives, including its policies, he or she is also responsible for directing concepts and placement of all commercials and promotional materials. It's a big task to handle, but someone with at least 15 years of experience and a degree from college should do the trick. And this kind of worth doesn't go unnoticed. In fact, 80 percent of chief advertising executives are paid between $74,943 and $250,532.

Are the lives of Stephens and Bower enough to convince you to pursue an advertising degree? There aren't many jobs out there where you have the opportunity to be incredibly creative and at the same time reap impressive rewards. Advertising careers are certainly something to consider. And if Stephens and Bower, two fictional advertising executives of the past don't strike an advertising career fancy in you, try watching "Desperate Housewives" and "Queer as Folk" -- there are advertising executives on these current TV dramas, too, illustrating that advertising careers at least has lasting power!

To find college and career schools near you, surf

Ysolt Usigan is a frequent contributor to The CollegeBound Network. Learn more about finding a school or career that's right for you!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Amateur Photographers Get Professional Assignments Through Citizen Image

Citizen Image (, a leading citizen journalism photography agency, has launched ciAssignment Board, a service allowing commercial content buyers from a wide variety of businesses–from news organizations to advertising agencies -- to solicit and acquire submissions of photographs with specific, assigned content. The ciAssignment Board provides commercial outlets a valuable resource for soliciting and acquiring images of breaking news events from camera-equipped bystanders, as well as specific stock images for commercial purposes. The ciAssignment Board has already successfully matched many top quality images from Citizen Image contributors with the requests of professional content buyers, providing income to Citizen Image contributors for their images.

To extend its reach, Citizen Image has struck several new business development deals including an agreement with Fotolog (, the world’s largest photo-blogging community and the third most actively used social network on the Internet. The Fotolog agreement allows its contributors to respond to Citizen Image’s assignment board requests within the Fotolog site, adding almost 10 million potential new photographers to Citizen Image’s reach. Fotolog plans to incorporate these hot news and stock image requests into their popular “Photo Hunt” and group message board features. The Fotolog community will then post and rate pictures in response to the Photo Hunt, and the top ranked images are either proactively pushed to news media outlets or submitted to the requestor by Citizen Image.

Posting requests on the ciAssignment Board is open to any image buyer who creates a free account with the service. Once the Citizen Image buyer posts an assignment, that assignment is shared with the Citizen Image user community and its partners. The buyer sets the bounty and the outline of the request, and the responding photographer receives 50 percent of the gross proceeds each time their image is sold.

Citizen Image has already successfully matched assignment board requests for ad agencies like GSD&M and The Week Magazine. Kelly Kingman, photo editor of “The Week,” says she finds the Citizen Image assignment board a valuable bridge between the professional and user-generated community.

The ciAssignment board is available to anyone at:

Saturday, September 1, 2007

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Users can register on the website by filling out a short form, and be on their way to creating a professional logo in minutes. The secret to's success is their logo maker's easy to use format. With icons showing the user what options are available to them, the free logo making tool is easy to use, yet powerful enough to develop prestigious logos. provides visitors to the site with a large library of logo images and fonts to give amateur logo designers all the tools that the pros have at their disposal. What might be the most substantial benefit to using the free logo design tool is the file formats. One can save their logo in professional quality file formats such as EPS and TIF.