Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Entrepreneurship, High School, Retirees, Social Media, Unemployment, University, Women @ home

Why Traditional Networking is Dead

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. – Charles Darwin

NetworkTraditional networking is dead. Be it in the form of networking events or even social networking (networking over social media).

You see, it is not that *networking* is dead … it is networking that doesn’t add value.

We are busy and unless something adds value, we are seldom committed to attend or participate. An exception to this rule is one who is generally extroverted and enjoys connecting and meeting people or one who has intended to meet someone specific at an event.

From alumni organizations, professional associations to job seeker and business oriented sessions, from connecting with fellow colleagues to someone who is in a field or job you are interested to connect with, it is time to move from traditional networking to value based networking.

There must an intent or aim to networking, there must be appropriate people who can add value towards the specific aim, and it must be transparent.

One idea is to utilize “speed meeting” formats where people meet based on a specific theme and run brief meetings with each other as facilitated by the host specifying specific matters to discuss.

Another idea for social networking is to move from the need for a general introduction or connection, to a specific introduction that states a purpose and expectations from both parties or use group setup and membership to connect like people with like aims and objectives.

In all cases, networking is a need and in these economic times, critical. What is more critical however is to make it count and not just say “here goes another hour or here goes another connection”.

 

 

Image courtesy of sheelamohan / freedigitalphotos.net

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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Entrepreneurship, High School, Retirees, Unemployment, University, Women @ home

The ‘Difference’ when it comes to success

People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be – whether they will admit that or not. – Earl Nightingale

LadderSuccess is relative and is dependent on the gap between where the person is at some point in time compared to where they thought they would be.

I have seen three conditions that people go through when it comes to success, when:

  • Achievements match the goals they have set for themselves
  • Achievements exceed their goals
  • Achievements are negatively different from the goals they had set for themselves

These conditions are independent of education levels, intellectual abilities, cultures, foundations of faith, age, social status,  wealth, and temperaments and personalities.

Those whose achievements matched their goals had a relentless focus on  implementing the necessary steps needed to achieve their goals without budging because of emotional, physical, family or financial reasons.

Those whose achievements exceeded their goals had a relentless focus and no fear of opening new and closing old doors. They also have the relentless commitment to an image of success in their own eyes as opposed to the eyes of others.

Those with a gap between their achievements and goals were, in varying degrees, relentlessly swayed by emotion. Shying away from asking and talking feeling like their destiny is in the hands of others, following the same plan even if all doors are closed and concerned about peoples’ impression of them.

I have personally experienced all three conditions and whether I like to admit it or not, it is our own making. Even though destiny plays a role, we also move in life by logic and reason, and unless we open doors and close ones that don’t work, and unless we push aside our pride and focus on our goals, and unless we put our emotions in check, we might wake up one day and regret the things we did not do.

Define your Goals ….

Take the steps to implement them …

Don’t fear anyone …

If something doesn’t work …

Find another way!

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in Career Growth, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, University

Are you an Innovator?

When all think alike, then no one is thinking – Walter Lippman

innovateThe reference to the role or career of an ‘innovator’ doesn’t come without footnotes.

From experience, most people do not know what an innovator is and seeing it transition to becoming a cliche these days, I thought I would share with you the characteristics of an innovator.

An innovator is someone who:

  1. Constantly thinks about how things could be done better
  2. Is committed to excellence
  3. Thinks deeply and widely
  4. Does not seek fortune, instead, seeks job satisfaction
  5. Rocks the boat
  6. Collaborates with others
  7. Take personal responsibility for all interactions and actions
  8. Covers all facets of innovation; process, product, service, societal, technological, and financial
  9. Over and above all, is a problem – big or small – solver

So there you have it, are you an innovator?

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Entrepreneurship, High School, Retirees, University, Women @ home

Series – Take Control for the Search: Take the Elevator

elevatorAlthough elevator pitches have been typically used by entrepreneurs and sales teams, I find it critical to have in today’s fast paced and busy world, be it a high schools student, university student, recent graduate, retired professional or even women @ home!

When it comes to one’s career, and depending on the audience, one should have two pitches ready; one to explain our career history until today and one to explain what we seek in the future.

In preparing a pitch, both looking at various articles and guidance on elevator pitches and my personal experience in hearing others’ who have made a positive impression on me, one must answer five questions – all in under 30 seconds:

  • Who do you work for / who do you want to work for? e.g. I have my own business
  • What do you currently do / what would you like to do? e.g. selling flowers
  • Who are your customers / who would be your customers? e.g. to people who live in a certain area
  • What problem do you solve / what problem would you solve? e.g. there are no flower shops in that area
  • Why is it important / why would it be important? e.g. to make people’s special moments spectacular

There are many other versions that one can come up with and there is an abundance of information available online … just be prepared and have one or two ready to go.

 

 

 

Image couresy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in Early Career, Entrepreneurship, High School, Leadership, Retirees, Unemployment, University

Can you survive the change?

timeChange is inevitable. Change is constant. – Benjamin Disraeli

As we experience significant economic and social shifts, the last time this happened was during the industrial age which, on most accounts, had a transition period of approximately 50 years.

The global and speedy nature of today’s information age, which is estimated to have started in the 1990s in some places, will have an even shorter transition period, my “guess” would be by half.

When it comes to employment, there are six key future uncertainties:

  1. Technological capability to meet global demand, increased disruptions, inefficiencies or solar storms
  2. Global political turmoil or unrest shifting hiring, spending and investments
  3. Financial System changes including extreme increase / decrease in price of oil and gold, bankruptcies or weaknesses in financial institutions
  4. Changing mobility in the global labour market and related migration
  5. Private sector, MNCs and Family Business challenges and transformations, including failures, layoffs, automation, globalisation
  6. Societal shifts in education, long-term career planning and goals (I want to be a millionaire by the time I am 22), longer lives, working beyond retirement, entrepreneurship and youth dependency on family and friends.

These uncertainties may be more prominent in some geographical areas versus others, nevertheless, in each of these cases, there is change.

I make the call today for every single one of us, irrespective of age or place in their career (even high school and university), deemed or feeling successful or not,  to take the time to think about resilience in the eye of these six elements.

Reflect on our education, careers and what makes us wake up in the morning, to find our unique place in the world.

The time is not tomorrow, the time for personal re-invention* is today.

* Term used by Dorie Clark in her book.

 

 

 

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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Entrepreneurship, High School, Leadership, Retirees, University, WISE, Women @ home

Office Gossip as per Socrates

talkSocrates was mostly re-quoted by Plato and others and never actually left writings of his own, nevertheless and applicable to all, this quote is quite powerful if applied in the workplace, small business or educational institution.

 

One day Socrates was approached by a man who wanted to tell him something about a friend who …

Socrates interrupted him and asked him if he had put the story through three sieves.

The first one is of truth – is what he was about to tell him true? The man said that he had overheard it.

The second one is of goodness – is what he was about to tell him good? The man said that it was on the contrary.

The third one is of necessity – is what he was about to tell him necessary for him to know? The main said no.

So Socrates responded “If the story you’re about to tell me isn’t true, isn’t good and isn’t necessary, just forget it and don’t bother me with it” – Socrates

 

 

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in Early Career, Entrepreneurship, Unemployment, Women @ home

Do you have what it takes to be a Small Business Owner?

allHere is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.  – Andrew Carnegie

The thing is with running a business is that it is about natural instincts, financial capability and energy, yes, energy because your business will need you 24/7.

As I observed small business owners and as others in my field did as well, we all agreed on one thing …

the key to success in business is the business becoming key.

Your business becomes the relationships you have, the hobby you enjoy, the dinners you attend, the network you connect with, your bank account, your car, your laptop, your everything … it becomes key to and in everything, and that’s what it takes and nothing short of it.

So are you a small business owner?

 

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Entrepreneurship

If running your own business is a no to an MBA, then what?

ImmerseIn terms of jumping into a character’s skin, I try to immerse myself in the role as much as possible to bring me closer to them. All I do is what’s required to achieve what I want to achieve. – Dougray Scott

I spoke earlier of the decision to do an MBA, and as I was once luckily advised, one does not need an MBA to run a business.

An MBA is too expensive of an investment that will not reap benefits to a business owner in the short to medium term. Even with some today who are offering an Entrepreneurship focus, it is still an expensive investment that will not reap benefits to a business owner especially when a business owner is still in their early career or is ‘thinking’ or ‘planning’ for a small business.

So if it is not an MBA, what prepares one for a small business?

A ‘Real business’ MBA … by immersing oneself in one!

Work in one … advise one … volunteer in one … whatever it may be, immerse yourself for at least two to three years … and you will know if it is for you and you will learn while benefiting the business owner with your time and skills.

You might ask me if it has to be in the same field of your potential business, ideally, yes, but it doesn’t have to as long as your strengths are being used. As I observed many small businesses, running a business is the same in any industry with a difference in sector specific rules, regulations and practices. A quick learner, and an ambitious person, would be able to see the difference.

 

 

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