Karen: This is PKF Texas: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook® and I’m Karen Love. I’m the host and co-founder. Today I’m here with Annabella Green, the Director of Human Capital and Firm Administration of the accounting firm of PKF Texas. Welcome to the Playbook Annabella.

Annabella: Thank you Karen. Thank you for having me.

Karen: Houston economy: hot. How in the world do you deal with recruiting for your firm?

Annabella: It’s true Karen, the economy is hot and it is great. It is great for all of us. However it does present a challenge when recruiting. We have spent a lot of time and resources at universities where we have been successful in the past, in particular the University of Houston, Texas A&M, and Baylor University.

Karen: Baylor University, yes fantastic.

Annabella: Absolutely. We have gotten great students from those universities.

Karen: Wonderful. So how do you differentiate the firm with those college students?

Annabella: Well we’ve spent a lot of time with the students. We are finding out what they want. And what they want is and what’s important to them is they want to work for an employer that will give them training – that they will continue to grow their career. They know that we have a culture of lifelong learning. And so we give them meaningful experiences at work. And so they can continue to grow their career.

Karen: Well that makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Annabella: Thank you, Karen.

Karen: Brilliant – good job. I’d love to have you back to talk a little bit more about that because that’s intriguing.

Annabella: Absolutely.

Karen: Thank you. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook®. Tune in next week for another chapter.

“At the end of the day you have to be in the driver’s seat of your career. Don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibilities or expand your role.” – Alex W. Obregon

It can be easy to sit back and let others steer your career, but not taking charge can lead to career apathy. Be ready to ask for work that interests you so that you can experience career growth.

Stay tuned for our full article discussing rejuvenating your career in the New Year.

 “Seek out a career mentor.” – Alex W. Obregon

Getting back on track may require an outside perspective. Seek out a mentor, someone who has been in your current position and can coach you on how to create opportunities to grow your career in a desired direction.

Stay tuned for our full article discussing rejuvenating your career in the New Year.

“Find the real issue. Is it because not enough responsibilities? Is it your superiors? The career? Location? Once you can pinpoint the issue, decide what the best course of action will be.” – Bryce Chastain

When things aren’t going our way, we tend to see every problem as its own separate issue; however, most problems usually stem from one particular issue. Take a step back, breathe, and try to pinpoint the root to all of your issues.

Stay tuned for our full article discussing rejuvenating your career in the New Year.

In honor of the coming New Year, the Cubesters surveyed professionals over the causes of career apathy and solutions to make your old job feel new again. Look for more blog posts in the coming weeks and for the Cubester Chat article appearing in the January 2014 edition of the Leading Edge magazine.

“Look for other things outside of your professional life, and make sure that your life outside of work is in good shape. It’s hard to excel professionally if you can’t get your personal life out of your head.” – Anonymous

You may have noticed we’ve drawn a crowd and have rearranged the furniture. The CPA Desk is a new space for us to share, inform and otherwise prove we’re your trusted advisor.

The world is noisy. We believe in using technology as a tool to spur conversation in real life.
We believe outstanding execution is a result of solid teamwork.
We believe thought leadership is a promise to our clients.

This re-envisioning of our blog represents our co-working space in which we offer you access to our thought leaders through the CPA Desk Stations:

  • Tax Desk — Our tax team keeps you informed on topics and regulations to help you plan and make decisions in your business.
  • International Desk — Keeping with the international flavor of Houston, our deep bench of international talent has carved out a spot for you to get updates critical to your global business strategies.
  • Route to Profits® — Business owners like hands-on tools to help improve their business. This station gives insights and best practices to use when all you need is a little direction.
  • PKF Texas – The Entrepreneur’s Playbook® — This is still the go-to place to get our ever popular weekly video update. Keep an eye out for new hosts and guests.
  • Cubesters® — You’ll hear our Cubesters®, the young talent of our firm, share perspectives on everything from mentoring to how their passions help them to be better accountants.

Poke around, feel free to ask questions, subscribe so you don’t miss future updates and let us know what you think! — CPADesk@pkftexas.com, 713-860-1400, @cpadesk

Raissa Evans is the Executive Manager of the Practice Growth team for PKF Texas.  She is an active member of the Houston Interactive community and 2012 will be the third year in a row she has attended the SXSW Interactive festival.

PKF Texas is again joining the ranks of those attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival held in Austin, Texas in March 2012. We’re really excited to have director of Consulting Solutions Greg Price join the dynamic Practice Growth duo of Karen Love and me in scouting out all of the tech trends and meeting futurists, thought leaders and influencers at the largest festival of its kind in the world. For more background on why our  accounting firm attends SXSW, see our articles on gaining our firm’s leadership endorsement and our Top 10 Business Take-aways from this year’s conference.

Monday, August 15, was the opening day for the 2012 SXSW Interactive Panelpicker, the official community-driven content curation system where attendees get to “vote up” or “vote down” topics they’d like to see make the final Program Book.

Although the Panelpicker is meant to be searched, and panelists have a chance to promote their own sessions and campaign for votes, I spent some time yesterday flipping through all 3,164 sessions to get an overall feel for this year’s trends and collected my thoughts to share.

Observations on the topics presented:

  • There’s a focus on different topics this year, that may not have received the same limelight in the past, including: social healthcare topics, education, ethics, nostalgia media such as radio and libraries, tablet devices, group buying, mobile commerce/pay systems, job hunting/recruiting and, ironically, fashion
  • Conspicuously underrepresented for an election year are topics on political issues, globalization and marketing for diversity, although you’ll see a small handful of each
  • A vast majority is what you’ll commonly see. They’ll be harder to sift through as you try to determine for yourself if the organizer has collected the right group of experts to speak on the topic (or if they just have “guru” in their Twitter bio). With a clever enough title, they may catch your eye anyway. These topics include: journalism vs. PR, new media, video, UX (user experience), design, content strategy, SEO (search engine optimization), developing, funding, gamification and gender issues
  • What I had hoped to see, but didn’t: anything about clean tech. Maybe this got siphoned off into October’s inaugural SXSW Eco conference?

My advice for panelpicker hopefuls, from a layperson:

  • Keep buzzwords out of titles – think of new, catchy ways to present your topic
  • Keep clichés out of titles – Ex. “X is dead, long live X” “The death of X”, etc.
  • Put your co-presenters in the session description as well. The site bandwidth has been overtaxed and is very slow, but we can preview and vote in the list view if it’s compelling.
  • Write your description with journalism rules: Compelling headline, first 3 sentences are most important. This is critical for the list preview mode and when scanning 3,164 sessions.
  • One out of 10 titles was too long, in which case the Panelpicker lists “Title Too Long” as the title and bumps the headline to the synopsis line. Fix this!
  • Consider listing a different lead organizer. Consider who has the expertise heavy, instead of defaulting to the big agency name who submitted this and 30 other sessions.
  • When using a case study as the subject matter, make sure we know exactly what can be taken away from the case study, rather than just listening to someone else’s brag session.
  • Be careful of telling me what females DO in a synopsis. You risk alienating more than half of potential attendees.
  • Consider that who you recruit to co-present will be presenting to arguably the best-educated and largest interactive audience in the world. The most common complaint last year was egotistical and unprepared panelists, which is not only boring, but offensive. You don’t want to be the negative buzz of the conference.

Last year, 935 sessions made it through to the final festival, attended by over 19,000 conference-goers from 63 countries. To place your votes, go to panelpicker.sxsw.com and use the advanced search function to find the proposals that meet your goals. Voting ends 11:59 CDT on Friday, September 2.

Houstonians can visit the Social Media Breakfast Houston site Facebook page for a running list of proposals from the Energy City.