Idea's space

This blog is dedicaded to share ideas coming randomly from my experiences

Archive for December 2009

Nearly …2010 !

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For some of us, 2010 is already there, for the others, it will be in few hours.It is the time of good resolutions for the New Year, it is also the time to have a look to the past year, to make a statement of all the major events of our respective life. Based on that statement, it is the time to write another page or another chapter of the book of our life, to materialize our dreams in sustainable projects.

It is a matter of fact that 2009 was a difficult year, maybe harder for some of us. A lot of people lost their jobs. The consequences of the financial crisis of 2008 took effect later and will probably still have effect in 2010. By materializing our dreams, it is probably the way to get off to a new start, to face new challenges and opportunities. If these new year should remain difficult about the quantity of opportunities, let us improve the quality of then and the pleasure to do it, the pleasure to expand experiences, giving us the possibility to acquire and to use capacities and competences, in order to meet other challenges.

Should we think about this once a year, when celebrating the New Year ? Let us consider each day as a new start, each day as a day full of expectation and projects. To write interesting chapters of our life, we need first to write nice sentences with words reflecting our dreams and expectations.

And what about me ? 2009 was a hard but interesting year. It was the opportunity for me to launch this blog. One of my goals was to maintain the effort to post articles on a regular basis. The maintenance of a blog is a long term exercise, asking perseverance and discipline. But it is an interesting experience, and I can see already some concrete results. This is the last post of my blog of 2009, and will pursue the exercise and improve the quality for 2010. The only way to reach such goal is to practice.

I whish you a Happy New Year 2010, full of happiness and dreams for you and for your families.


Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

December 31, 2009 at 18:28

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The 24th of december …Yes, of course!

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Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

December 24, 2009 at 12:42

Posted in Uncategorized

The good time to stop working ?

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Stop to work ? When ?

Since few times, some governments in Europe are debating about the legal age to be retired. As the age pyramid begins to be old, governments are facing the problem of pension payments. To face such problem, one of the proposed solutions is to increase the legal age of retirement. But most of the trade unions do not agree with such measure, arguing that people merits to take rest after a forty years professional career.

Does anybody want to stop to work at the same age? The answer to that question is different for each person. There is a relation with the kind of job you are doing, the condition of work and the satisfaction you had from your professional career, and maybe also with your personal goals. People who worked during many years in a manufactory, achieving hard and difficult tasks, will be probably happy to be retired when sixty five years old, in order to take good time for hobbies, for family. It should not be exact to say that everybody is doing the job of his dreams. For some people, the work is felt as a necessity in order to earn money, for the others, work is a blooming source. For this last category, it is sometime difficult to stop working.

Few time ago, I had the opportunity to meet a person, who worked during his career for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. When he was sixty two years old, the company he was working for, wanted to stop the collaboration and made a proposal of retirement. He refused such plan. He told me at that time, he was still enjoying his job, was still full of energy and projects, and as it was not yet the legal age to be retired, he did not agree to stop to work. Finally, the company decided to fire him.

After a period of outplacement, this person thought to found his consultancy company, providing services based on his competences. You have to know that he has a wide culture, he is fascinated by China, and he is speaking seven different languages. After some training in accounting and legal matters, he finally created his own company, giving advices and helping companies to develop business with Asian countries. The most amazing thing is that the last company where he was employed and who fired him, is working now with him as a consultant. By doing this, he demonstrates that even if you are sixty years old, it does not mean that you are not able to work and to develop potential. At that stage, you are not considering your job as a constraint, but as a hobby, as something you like to do. As already mentioned in other postings, the most important thing is to have a goal, to have always a project. This is a motivation and life balance source. The person I am talking about, realized a successful career conversion, and is often invited by professional associations as lecturer, to tell about this conversion.

My opinion about this, is that we have to let the opportunity of choice to the people, if they want to stop to work or not. I remember the father of a friend who worked as Human Resources director in few companies. He was a very appreciated manager, demonstrating huge talents as negotiator. The last years of his career, he decided to decrease progressively his working time. He said: “When you have the career I had, with huge responsibilities and heavy agenda, and when you like what you are doing, you can not stop your career the day after. “

Personally, I can say when I will stop to work. It does not mean that I will work always on a full time basis. But as far as you will find the energy and the motivation, the interest to be part of a project, as far as you will get satisfaction about realizations and as far as you are healthy, why should you stop to do something you like to do ?

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

December 23, 2009 at 18:09

Time is ..precious.

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Time is precious.

In these difficult economical and social times, when hearing around me, a lot of people are losing they jobs. Other freelancers are waiting for new challenges and opportunities. We are used to say that time is money, but these times, it is not really the case.

Is it time only money? Time is running every day, and the lost time is unrecoverable.

When people unfortunately are losing a job, they have to consider that a chapter of their life is finished, and that they should think to write a new one. It is the time to think about what you have done, what are the experiences and the skills you acquired; the time to define new goals, new targets in function of what you want to do and the capabilities and skills you could value. These are things which for you have not enough time to think about during the rushing hours spent at the office, running after deadlines and issues to be solved quickly.

It is the time to find new ideas, new developments. We need to pay attention to our environment. We can only find inspiration by observing what is going on around us. By getting a look, by reading books, hearing to the news, chatting with friends and colleagues, navigating on the web, we can be informed about the changes around the world, about the new challenges. From one idea found by somebody else, we can find another one. It is the time to do such exercises, in order to open our mind.

Most of the time, we are operating as technician in our respective discipline, and we are missing a lot of things around us. We are missing a bit of creativity, getting bogged down in our daily routine. But as far as we can open new doors, we are offering new possibilities to ourselves; and we could maybe discover new talents, new interests.

Do not let us spend our time, but let us use it efficiently to maximize our chance and to do what we want to do, to realize our projects and dreams. This should be an ongoing process, needing efforts and perseverance on a long term basis. This is why time is so..precious.

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

December 12, 2009 at 23:32

Your network, a mine of useful informations.

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Your network, a mine of useful informations.

When I started my career as free lancer in November 2007, the economy was still on the top. In such context, I was advised by a partner to start now, as the interim management market had a lot of potential.

I remember to get my first assignment after 2 weeks, and I had only two days of unemployment between each of next assignments. In 2008, a lecturer invited to an event organized by a partner told us “It is good for you to get assignments in quick succession, but I know interim managers who stay at home during few months without work!” Of course, I was a bit surprised to hear that, but on the other hand, I had in mind that an entrepreneur should know that difficult times could succeed to successful times, and has to be prepared to such situations. To manage is to foresee, isn’t it?

By discussing with other interim managers, they told me also to be workless during few months during economical crisis times. We emphasized the importance to maintain a network, to keep partners updated about your last assignments and the new acquired expertise, giving them information in order to maximize the chance to get opportunities. It was obvious for me that business will not be always on the top; nevertheless, I kept these advices and comments in mind.

In the middle of the year 2008, the financial crisis started, and with such scale, it was obvious that such crisis will have a negative impact on the economy. After few weeks, the customer I was working for, presented decreasing sales figures, and the financial results were in red. They were unable to make any forecast for the next months, as such situation never happened before.

By noticing this, I remembered what was said by my colleagues and partners. When I started my own company, the first step was to increase significantly the equity in order to finance future investment or to keep margin during recession times. I could only notice that I was right to plan things in such a way.

By writing these lines, I wanted to underline the importance of network and the shared experience of your colleague and partners. If they mentioned negative experiences, do not underestimate then, but consider this as useful information you have to analyze, to take conclusions and to take appropriate actions.

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

December 8, 2009 at 00:11

Posted in Business, Network

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