There’s that line from the movie Forest Gump… “stupid is as stupid does” … well, there’s stupid and then there’s bravely awesome. Clay Shirky, one of my favorite authors, says…
“My motto for 2013, adapted from Agile Programming precepts = What Is The Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work?”
One of the reasons we keep doing the same thing over and over and don’t innovate… is that we surround ourselves with people just like ourselves. It’s human nature. And if someone sounds different or has goofy ideas or looks different; we forget to value the difference. We discount them based on whatever. The goal of diversity is to OPEN up the pool of ideas and thoughts. Recent research shows that large corporations that have women board members are more profitable than those that don’t. This only tells part of the story.
Real innovation must come from change and change takes courage. We’d all still be hitting each other with clubs if there weren’t some of us willing to create tools to go get food.
The more we think about things and try to ‘figure it all out,” the less likely we are to take the risk. The most successful parts of my life.. traveling, new jobs, speaking in front of large groups, etc. all came to me because I didn’t think about what might happen. I just did it.
We don’t have to engage in foolish risks without considering how to mitigate them, but letting “risks stop us from doing new things” is the safe road and on the ‘safe road’ only the guy with the biggest club will survive and I’m not having that.
Photo credit: Projectile Placement skycaptaintwo
I like twitter. I use it for both business and personal purposes. I know, you’re shaking your head right now and wondering how I have time to fool around on twitter.
If you are interested in a great twitter tutorial… check out Charlene Kingston’s free eBook, Twitter for Beginners. You do need to register to get it but I promise you won’t get ANY spam from her and you’ll have a great resource.
I wish I could show you right now the power of real time search. If you follow smart people, leaders in your field, you can learn a great deal in a short period of time. I use it to search for relevant information for my clients. I also search for articles that I think would be relevant to my connections, then I add my 2 cents and post the link to Linked In.
This article helps you to learn how to target your tweets to people by occupation (e.g. attorneys) and location (e.g. city). You can provide customer service or listen to what people are saying about you or your competition. In just a few minutes a day, you can keep up with real time information about your industry.
Just remember that marketing today isn’t about telling the world how great you are… it’s about adding value. Just because you can easily find a target audience on twitter doesn’t mean you should spam them! (definition of spam: I don’t want it and I didn’t ask for it).
I realize it’s popular to say (and think) twitter is stupid.. and it’s certainly your choice to stop reading this or think twitter is dumb. But it’s the business that is most adaptable to that often wins. Are you adapting?
Image credit: twitter tricks
This week I had a couple of meetings like I do almost every week. (Do you meet between 2-5 new people a week?)
First — the good meeting!
One was with a guy I met who has been unemployed for about a year for the first time in his career. I met him briefly after a talk I had given. He confirmed our meeting the day before. Yeah for him. Then he offered to buy me a coffee, I always appreciate the offer. Another yeah for him. (cost him $1.72) He told a story about delivering meals to shut ins as one of the ways he spent his time while unemployed. Triple wow. He even asked how he could help me. Unbelievable.
And now the not so good meeting:
Meeting with someone I had met before and had helped him with something. By 5pm the day before, he had not confirmed our meeting so I did. Ick, not happy. I usually send my cell phone number so in case something comes up last minute.. the person doesn’t leave me sitting there. Hmm, maybe you could send me yours so in case something comes up for me? Nope. Didn’t improve.
In the article, “5 ways to lose your dream job during the interview process” — the same simple etiquette applies. Confirm your meeting, be polite, don’t talk too much, think of ways you can help the other person, don’t be cocky, send a thank you note, etc.
Seems pretty simple to me. But if it’s so simple, why don’t most people do it? I have no idea. Sigh…
Oh, and did you send a Linked In invitation after your meeting?
Photo credit: photo bucket
Have you ever been on the hiring side of a resume? It’s not fun.
You often feel like this guy. Overwhelmed by ‘paper’ and buzzwords that don’t tell you anything.
Before you spend more time and get more opinions about your resume, check out this article, “How Recruiters See Your Resume…” Take a look at the heat map associated with this article.
It tells us that the more structured your resume, the easier it is for those 6 seconds to be productive and get you into the consideration pile vs. the no way pile.
The goal of the resume is to… wait for it… get you an interview! Be sure to think of it that way. It’s not to document your entire work history.
By the way, how’s your Linked In profile? Do you have 300 connections? Do you belong to several groups? Have you uploaded your PowerPoint presentations? Do you answer questions? Make sure you include a live link to your Linked In profile from your resume.
Now go forth and streamline that resume!
Image credit: Career Insider
No one likes a tattletale. Well, unless the information is valuable. So when you are looking for a new job (exciting and terrifying), information about a prospective employer can be priceless.
The way it used to be -Do you remember the old boys network’? I do. Because I’m a girl (and an old one at that) – the boys network wasn’t really open to me. Yes, I had excellent experience and yes, I had a Master’s Degree but… I was still a girl.
But I never let anything stop me. I just kept trying, learning, sharing, being myself. And I’m happy to report that due to circumstances beyond their control, the network (while still alive and well) isn’t what it used to be.
I also had a little help from my friends, kind and generous mentors and the great equalizer, the internet and it’s child – social media came along.
The way it is now – When you want information about a company, you can turn to sites like Glassdoor.com. This site allows real people to give information about their employer. The good news is that it’s anonymous. That’s also the bad news. The site has input by company, job type, salary and even interview questions.
Like any other ‘crowd-sourced’ site, you need to be careful. One disgruntled person can make the numbers look bad so it’s important thing is to read all the comments. Check out all the data. Particularly around salary. (there are so many helpful sites!) I know it’s an ‘employer’s’ market right now, but that won’t last and this probably isn’t the last job you’ll negotiate a salary for. (booyah!)
Image credit – This child’s mother and father… and LoveAmourLove.com
Functions in the workplace are converging. Social media is jumbling responsibilities at the enterprise at an alarming rate. Let’s take twitter for example.
You may know the online shoe retailer Zappos.com – they make a big deal out of using technology to give customers what they want and need 24 x 7. This is NOT because Zappos thinks that technology is cool. Their culture is totally built around superior customer service. Check it out here. Here’s an example of their twitter feed…
“Oh whoa! Truly sorry about that. We will try not to let that happen again. We had some slight hiccups in out Tweets today. ”
Check out Zappos employees communicating here. And they are not alone. Check out this tweet from a satisfied Southwest Airlines customer: “Southwest completed my name change within 2 hours of my faxing them the info! #customerservice #newlywedtweet”
What about when an employee goes on Glassdoor, Facebook or twitter to complain about your company, whose responsibility is it to monitor and follow up? HR? Marketing?
When things go wrong with a sale, who hears about it? The sales person? Customer service? Marketing? Maybe the IT department if it’s a web sale? Is response via social sites in your organization’s workflow?
Is a company’s Facebook or Twitter pages the responsibility of marketing, advertising, customer service or public relations? Smart companies are actually co-creating products with customers in real time. So now do the product development folks need to monitor twitter too?
What if I need to download a 3rd party app to my desktop and cell phone to monitor twitter for my job… Does IT support that? Across which platforms (Apple, Blackberry, Droid or tablets?)
If you manage marketing, sales, customer services, human resources, IT or finance; are you paying attention? The head in the sand thing isn’t going to work any more.
Image Credit: All News Wire
Do you believe the world of work has changed forever? I do. Whatever the root cause of our unemployment issues; big companies will no longer create the majority of our new jobs; small and mediums-sized companies will. And many more people will work for themselves or freelance.
The stereotype of a freelancer is a geek with a laptop sitting at home on their sofa in their sweats. You might be surprised that freelancers, like entrepreneurs, come in all shapes, sizes and are from many different fields. Think for a minute of consultants; engineering, management,etc.
I have a strategic marketing consulting practice that is supplemented by teaching at the Masters level and an active speaking schedule so I consider myself both an entrepreneur and a freelancer. As more folks aged 50+ lose their jobs (and have lost significant value in their retirement plans) — more of us will need to find work wherever we can.
This week I had the opportunity to visit NYS Senator Joe Robach with a group of freelancers and representatives from the Freelancers Union . (If you are an independent worker, you may want to check out their site. It’s free to join!) At issue is the right for freelance workers to have the same protection to ‘get paid’ as ‘regular’ workers; 83% of freelancers have experienced delayed, reduced or non-payment. Senator Robach was very supportive of the bill.
If we are going to adapt to a global marketplace, we are going to need keep up our legal and regulatory supports for new kinds of work. Are you working freelance? I’d love to hear from you.
Photo credit: Freelance Switch.com
When was the last time you had a spectacular failure?
I don’t mean “oops”— I mean whoa, that did not work out the way I thought.
No one likes failure – BUT, I know if I’m not occasionally failing and — failing fast, then I’m not taking enough risk. Most of the good stuff in my life came to me because I could not get what I needed or wanted via ‘the safe road.’
But remember this. I’m a Capricorn; the goat. We do not leap or pounce; we plod.
So for all you who are thinking… yeah, it’s easy for her. STOP RIGHT THERE. Taking risks is hard, scary, unsafe at any speed.
Here’s what helps me take more risk:
– My mentors are in their 20′s & 30′s. I am eager to learn from them & they are patient and generous.
– I gravitate to people who are trying new stuff and look for opportunities to associate with entrepreneurs.
– I try to read books that challenge my thinking. (I know, books are long and take a lot of time to read but I skim.) I visit the library. You can add your review to your Linked In profile. Here are a couple of suggestions that I’m going for:
Thomas Friedman’s new book, That Used to Be Us or Burg and Mann (Go-Giver), It’s Not About You.
Change is good, timing is everything, patience is the key. However… the good Lord helps those that help themselves. If you always do what you always did… you’ll always get what you always got. How’s that working out for you?
Last week we talked about what the regulators are doing. Now I’m going to share some real sad but true stories from the social realm. You may or may not agree with the decisions described here but that’s not the point. What’s important is to understand that –this is reality. I have heard each of these stories first hand. Here we go…
— A CEO described interviewing a young man and liking him. After the young man left, the CEO decided to go online and ‘Google’ him. (Yes, that’s a verb now, to Google.) Here’s what he read on Facebook. “I just had an interview at xyz company. The company is a dog but I’m sure they are going to make me an offer which I’ll take while I keep looking.” He didn’t get the job and probably to this day doesn’t know why.
– A graduate student getting his Master’s in teaching began doing his student teaching. After about 3 weeks, he was called by HR and told he was being terminated. When he asked why, he was told that photos ‘unbecoming’ a teacher were found online. They found pictures of him on his Facebook page drinking a beer (he was over 21) in a public park.
I live in New York, an ‘at will’ employment state, which means that any employer can ‘let go’ any employee without cause. (ok, that’s not the legal terminology).
Bottom line: Pay attention folks. It’s not a conspiracy but they are out to get you.
Photo credit: Random Good stuff.com
I talk to job seekers about the power of social in their search. Most people embrace it at some level. Others tell me how stupid it is. That’s cool, do it however you want!
However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) helped to change that in May when it gave a background checking company, Social Intelligence, the right to look at 7 years of our internet and social media background. This article from Gizmodo is a real eye opener for all of us, not just job seekers.
The company is looking for publicly available information on site like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and Craigslist. It isn’t looking for ‘dirt’ per se but to find out whether you, as a potential employee, would give the potential employer heartburn or worse. In other words, are you trustworthy?
If the company … “finds out you’re pregnant, or gay, or a Muslim, or newly married, or a newly gay married to a pregnant Muslim, it leaves that out of its report. All an employer sees is, basically, that you passed or failed.”
So how will this change how we post, rant or connect? The roller coaster ride just got a little bumpier. What do you think?
Photo credit: many thanks to Steve John, found via Escape into Life.com — from the iPhone of New Media Artist Steve John