Productivity is Not a Bad Thing

Productivity is a great thing. I do not believe that you have to schedule every minute of your day or that you have to be in work mode 24/7. I do believe that it is important to do our jobs and do them well — whether you are an investment banker, an office manager, an artist, a stay at home parent, or a research analyst.

I read a lot of books and blogs and I have seen people on both sides of the productivity issue. Some people say “get as much done as possible.” Others have a “who cares about productivity?” or an anti-“life-hack” attitude. Of course, there is everything in between.

The dictionary defines productive in the following ways:

productive

–adjective

1. having the power of producing; generative; creative: a productive effort.

2. producing readily or abundantly; fertile: a productive vineyard.

3. causing; bringing about (usually fol. by of): conditions productive of crime and sin.

It is not a bad thing to produce, to generate, to create. Most everything we have in life was produced–the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the movies we watch, the music we listen to. I would be pretty let down if musicians stopped producing great music for me to listen to. I do not plan on being a hunter or farmer any time soon, so I appreciate the productivity of people who help produce the food that is on my table.

While we often have to go the extra mile at work, or put in more time at certain points, do not work yourself to death. Work is important–but if it kills you, what good is that? Step back for a minute if you feel overwhelmed. Take time for yourself. Relax. Have fun. Take a vacation–even if it means not leaving town, but just spending time at home with family and friends–or alone.

Once you adopt a healthy view of productivity, you will stop seeing it as the enemy. You will not feel as pressured to always be in “go!” mode or to shun the idea entirely.

What is your view of productivity and how does it impact you?

Copyright 2008, Alaia Williams. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express permission of the author.

How to Get a Job Doing Qualitative Marketing Research

Qualitative market research is an important tool used by businesses to identify customer needs and people’s perception of a product with the goal of meeting those needs. This can be done by improving product lines, distribution, sales strategies and all the other things that will increase its sales and generate more profit.

Educational Attainment and Skills Employers Look For

Even entry level jobs in this field favor a bachelor’s degree holder and most companies require a master’s degree for higher level positions. Although any baccalaureate degree is acceptable, there is a bachelor’s degree course that focuses on market research. Other preferred courses are degrees in statistics, mathematics or computer science. A background in economics, business administration or the social sciences adds to a more impressive resume.

The Marketing Research Association, a non-profit trade organization composed of member companies, offers professional research certifications that attest to professional competency and increases your advantage over other applicants in job-seeking. There are certain criteria to be met in experience and knowledge before one can be certified. Internships and sales job experiences are helpful for a marketing career. So are exposures to work doing data analysis, writing reports and making surveys.

To land a job doing qualitative research for sales, employers look for specific skills and competencies. Computer proficiency is a must since the newer methodologies in conducting market statistical studies makes extensive use of computer software. Analytical thinking skills are necessary to understand and scrutinize massive quantities of data. Communication skills involve conversing with people to gather information, interpret them and present them to clients. Other valuable capabilities are critical thinking competency and detail orientation because the work entails precise data analysis and assessment of information gathered to determine the action plans.

Duties of a Qualitative Marketing Researcher

Traditional qualitative market research uses two methodologies for data gathering: focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. The former makes use of a small group of eight to ten respondents in a discussion during which their behaviors, perceptions and attitudes toward a certain topic are solicited and explored. The latter is a one-on-one interview by phone or in person for more complex issues.

Modern methodologies are carried out with the use of computers. These include webcam groups, online bulletin boards, video diaries, mobile research, email surveys and other techniques that are constantly being tested. Hence, these occupations call for working, usually alone, on the computer – amassing data and assessing them and making reports. Depending on needs, longer hours of work may be required.

Typical Duties of a Qualitative Marketing Researcher

The qualitative market analyst usually works on small groups to collect large amounts of information. They communicate with respondents through the internet, by phone or in person to gain insights into their behaviors and opinions, research a topic, analyze and interpret data, and prepare reports, graphs and tables and present them to management. Their tasks include monitoring and forecasting of sales trends, measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategies, formulating plans and proposals.

Most of these tasks are done using specialized statistical software, so a market specialist must have computer knowledge and learn how to use these specific programs.

A market research job is challenging and mentally stimulating. It draws out a person’s creativity by discovering new ways to do things. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for market research analysts as of May 2011 is $67,130, with the lowest ten percent being $33, 490 and the highest ten percent at $112,560.

Market Research on the Cheap

Working people didn’t spend 20% of their annual income on Encyclopedia sets because some door to door salesman tricked them into thinking how nice it would be to own a bunch of books. People paid high prices for those gold bound Encyclopedias because they wanted to feel like good parents who were giving their offspring an advantage.

Emotions and the desires that spring from those emotions are the reason that people buy almost everything. A successful business understands the buying emotions and the desires of its customers, and finds a way to satisfy them.

Master salesman will tell you that it is impossible to create a need for a product or service that will not plainly satisfy what people want. Some business schools still teach that wants and needs can be created with slick marketing. How little those academics know about human nature.

The purpose of market research is to know your customer, to unravel the bundle of human emotions and find out what your potential customers really want.

Here are three ways that you can do market research on the cheap. Just because the research method is online does not mean that it cannot also be applied to an off-line business.

1. Keyword Analysis. Everyday people type queries into Google and the other search engines on an almost infinite variety of topics. There are free keyword research tools offered by Google and Microsoft, among others, that will return hundreds or results of the exact phrases that people used to find out more about any topic.

Your job as a market research analyst is to look behind the words and phrases that people use to search. Do some phrases have a greater sense of urgency than others? Are some searches more specific about the nature of a problem?

It will take a little practice, but after a while you can develop a sense of what people really want from the keyword phrases they use when they search on the Internet.

2. Active Forums. There are online forums or communities on thousands of different topics where strangers get together and talk about a common problem with more frankness and honestly then they probably would in person. Anonymity has its virtue.

You would spend thousands of dollars to do market research with a focus group. You can do nearly the same thing for free with online forums.

3. The Competitions’ Sales Letters. A professionally written sales letter will deliberately target buying emotions. Top copywriters get paid thousands of dollars to write those sales letters. You can take advantage of your competitor’s research and the copywriter’s expertise by studying the well written sales letter to identify and understand those dominant buying emotions.

Discover the Types of Analyst Resumes

An analyst is a person who does all the investigation, examination and researches on any specific area or sector and then implements the required strategies for improved efficiency and higher productivity. These people should have strong analytical skills and also possess strong thinking capabilities. To start a career in this field, the first step is creating an effective resume that should reflect all the analytical skills of the applicant and also the relevant work experience.

There are many types of analyst resume depending on the type and scope of the job profile. Though the basic structure of all the types remain the same but the specifications and keywords used for creating each type of analyst resume. Specified keywords and other specifications should be kept in mind while writing the resume.

Here are some of the most important types of analyst resumes:

Chemical Analyst Resumes

Chemical analyst is a person who should have an eye to drug formation techniques and methods. He or she examines various techniques to get the best possible methods to verify the reliability of drugs and also determine its quality and stability. The resume of chemical analyst should also possess the same analytical skills. It should have strong keywords showing relevant work experience.

Business Analyst Resumes

Business analyst is a person who analyzes and examines all the business processes and takes care of the operations and functions. Depending on new strategies and techniques based on the research, an analyst plays an influential role in improving efficiency and productivity of any business. The resume of business analyst should also comprise skill sets that define applicant’s role as an examiner of business operations. It should also dictate the achievements and accomplishments of the applicant in the same field.

Marketing Analyst Resume

A marketing analyst is a person who analyzes and verifies price, product competition, customer strength, and economic data of various business firms. This helps any firm to take a firm decision on what to improve and where to improve. This also helps to adopt new strategies and techniques to improve business efficiency. The marketing analyst resume should be written in precise and expressive manner. It should contain work experience with relevant skills and abilities.

Systems Analyst

System analyst or computer system analyst is someone who analyzes the technical design and system requirement. He or she is also responsible for development of new software and also implement the deadlines of various projects. The system analyst resume should also explain in detail the analytical skills of the applicant in terms of computer operations and development.

To know more, check Analyst Resumes.