• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

    There are few pursuits in life that are more rewarding than building your own business from the ground up and seeing it go on to succeed. Entrepreneurship is something that many have aspirations of. It is easy to see why because it also allows you to be your own boss and to follow your passions, which can be incredibly rewarding. 

    While there certainly are many perks to entrepreneurship, you must also understand how challenging it is. Often these businesses do not work out even if the idea was great. With this in mind, here are a few tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, which will hopefully be useful.

    Become an Expert on Financial Management

    No business can succeed if the owner is not intelligent with money. In addition to knowing how to manage your business’s finances, you also need to have excellent personal finance management. There will always be a challenging period initially with not much money coming into the business, so you will have to find a way to manage. While being intelligent with money is vital, it is still smart to use a professional accountant to handle the company’s finances for complete accuracy.

    Learn from the Best Entrepreneurs

    While it can feel intimidating, and there are many risks involved in starting a business, entrepreneurship is also a well-beaten path. There are many people that you can learn from and courses like an online MBA you can take. Many of the world’s most successful and famous entrepreneurs share their expertise with people through books, interviews, podcasts, and other forms of media, and there is a lot that you can learn from these people. A few good starting points include:

    • Elon Musk
    • Bill Gates
    • Oprah Winfrey
    • Richard Branson
    • Larry Page
    • Steve Jobs
    • Jeff Bezos

    Work on Your Soft Skills

    Soft skills are important in all business areas, but especially when it comes to starting and running a company. Those with excellent soft skills always stand out in the workplace as they are both able to excel in their own role as well as communicate efficiently, which is so important when it comes to leadership. Consider what the key soft skills are for business and then determine if there are areas that need work, which can be done through practice, research, and courses in some cases. A few of the main soft skills that need to be strengths include:

    • Communication
    • Critical thinking
    • Leadership
    • Presentational skills
    • Time management

    Learn to Delegate Effectively

    One of the biggest mistakes that new entrepreneurs make when launching a business is trying to take on too much responsibility and handle all areas of business themselves. This could be costly as you need to understand your limitations and rely on others’ expertise if you are to excel in business. This is something that all of the entrepreneurs listed above understand. This is why delegation is such an important skill as a business leader and will be critical if you are to excel. Of course, the key to success is making sure that you surround yourself with talented individuals with a skill set different from your own.

    Recruit Carefully

    Following this, the recruitment process needs to be handled with care, and you should never rush to fill a position. You need to work out exactly what you need from each role and then take the time to find the right person for the job. This means that you should start recruiting early so that you do not have to rush. Additionally, try to place an emphasis more on attitude and personality as opposed to experience since you can always train people to get up to speed (although obviously experience and qualifications are important in certain areas). 

    Consider Outsourcing

    While it is a good idea to have a team of hardworking employees working for you, it is also worth outsourcing instead of hiring in certain departments. This is because outsourcing is much more cost-effective as you can pay on a per-project or per hour basis. Plus, often you can find people to outsource work to, which means that location is not an issue. Outsourcing is particularly beneficial early on as it allows you to avoid overstretching your team while still working at a high capacity.

    Network at Every Chance

    It is one of the most common tips you will see, but this is good because networking is so important for entrepreneurship. Making contacts and maintaining these relationships helps you meet people with different ideas and skills than your own, increases your chance of finding new opportunities, and develops your professional reputation. Networking online is important in today’s day and age and can be a great way to nurture relationships. But in terms of meeting people, it is still in-person, which is the most effective, so you need to make an effort with this even if you are shy

    Find a Mentor

    For those that are just getting started in the world of entrepreneurship, it is also helpful if you are able to find a mentor whether this is someone that you know in your personal life, someone that you met through networking, someone that you met through an online MBA course, or through a mentorship program. A mentor will be able to provide advice and support so that you make the right decisions. Plus, mentors may also bring their own expertise to the table or have a large network that you can benefit from. People often make the same mistakes when getting started with a business for the first time, and a mentor will help you avoid these problems.

    Know How to Make a Good First Impression

    First impressions count for a lot in the business world, so this needs to be something that you consider. As an entrepreneur, you need to come across as confident but not arrogant and someone that people feel comfortable with. This can be a fine balance, and you will need to do some self-reflection to work out what you need to work on – this will also improve your personal life too. A few basic tips for making a good first impression include:

    • Dressing smartly
    • Taking pride in appearance and hygiene
    • A warm smile
    • Handshakes
    • Making eye contact
    • Showing a genuine interest in others
    • Asking questions

    Be Willing to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

    As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, and this will be critical for setting up the business, finding ways to grow, and improving your personal performance. You have to take risks in the business (albeit calculated risks) and put yourself out there, which can be daunting. Still, when you do this, you toughen up and develop the key skills that are so important to success in the world of business. You should also find that this improves areas of your personal life. If stepping outside of your comfort zone is something that you have always struggled with, you might find it helpful to do something small every day and gradually build your way up.

    Earn an Online MBA

    One of the best steps to take if you want to excel as an entrepreneur is to earn an online MBA degree. An online MBA will teach you everything you need to know to excel in the modern day business world, including how to strategize as well as lead. This also means that the online MBA is a brilliant qualification for developing confidence, which is so important to success. By earning an online MBA, you can study at your own pace and with great flexibility to even work on your business as you study or your MBA and start practicing what you learn straight away. Having an MBA will also be useful for instilling confidence in others, such as when you are trying to secure funding for the business.

    Always Secure Enough Funding

    Calculate your startup costs and secure the total amount before getting started with the business to make sure you don’t run out of funding. If you are unable to get the business up and running to the standard that you want, it might be difficult to find success early on, which will only make it harder to survive. This is why you need to secure enough funding so that you are able to hit the ground running and start developing a positive reputation for your brand. In terms of securing funding, you will want to have a detailed business plan with financial projections and clearly show why it would be an intelligent investment.

    Keep it Basic to Start With

    While you want to get the business up and running to a high standard, it is also important that it is initially in its most basic form to keep costs down. You may want a flashy office space and the latest tech, but this can interfere with your bottom line, so instead you should try to keep it basic initially and then look to upgrade once the money starts to come in. This could even start with operating remotely as opposed to leasing or purchasing office space, which is a great way to keep costs down and something that has become the new normal in 2020, so it is something that employees will be used to.

    Develop a Strong Work Ethic

    While it is a great feeling to be your own boss and to be in complete control, you must also understand that it is a tremendous amount of work, which means you will need to have a strong work ethic to succeed. As the top person, you cannot have days where you do not give it your all so if you do not have a strong work ethic, this needs to be something that you work at.

    Avoid Burnout

    While a strong work ethic is certainly important, it is also essential that you do not overdo it in order to avoid burnout. There is a dangerous mindset in the world of entrepreneurship that many inexperienced people subscribe to which is all about working harder than everyone else and to the point of extreme, but this could be detrimental not only to the business but also to your own health. Instead, you need to make sure that you are working a healthy schedule, taking regular breaks, looking after your health, and enjoying your life outside of work. This will help you perform to a high standard each day, avoid burnout, and enjoy your personal and professional life.

    Stay Current with Technology

    Technology has always played an important role in the business world but never more so than it does today. Technology can be used to streamline the operation, reduce costs, improve quality, and make work easier for you and your team, amongst many other benefits. There are many different types of technology, and it will depend on your industry, so to learn about the best type of tech, you should try to stay current by:

    • Reading business/tech blogs
    • Listening to business/tech podcasts
    • Speaking with tech experts
    • Signing up for newsletters
    • Following relevant people on social media
    • Attending business/tech events

    Be Passionate About Your Work

    Starting a business from the ground up is an enormous amount of work and a big commitment to make, especially if it involves steps like earning an online MBA degree. This is why you need to be passionate about your work and truly believe in the project; otherwise, you will run out of steam and struggle to overcome the inevitable hurdles that come your way.

    It is an incredible journey to go on building your own business, but it is certainly challenging, and there will be a number of obstacles to overcome, which are all part of the journey to success.

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    Build Your Personal Brand to be a Recruiter’s Dream Candidate

    Have you ever had someone tell you that you need to build a brand for yourself? The idea can be confusing as you may not think of yourself as a brand or an asset, but rather as a person. While this is appropriate, to companies looking to hire individuals, they see employees as assets. You as an asset to a company is only as valuable as your brand. 

    Think about how you react to products when you walk through the grocery store. Go down the soda aisle and take a look at what you recognize. You spot the brand names right away and see them as more valuable than the generic options. They may offer the exact same in taste, quantity, and more, but the brand carries more value. You need to build your personal brand so companies perceive you much the same way you perceive brands as a consumer.

    Understand What Brand You Want to Build

    As an individual job seeker, a personal brand is the best asset you have. You need to start the building of your personal brand by knowing what brand you want to build. Are you trying to go for a brand that showcases a leadership presence in more of a formal, corporate setting? Perhaps you want a brand to shine through that you are an entrepreneur, more casual, and idealistic in your career path? 

    Think through where you want to be in your career in the next five years, even a decade. Once you have a few goals in mind, try to come up with a brand that will help you achieve those goals. Knowing your goals can help you set the finish line, and then work to get there as time passes. Recruiters are looking for specific personality attributes along with skill sets during the recruitment process. By building your personal brand to exemplify your personal attributes and skill sets, you will showcase your best to recruiters. 

    Social Media is a Great Ally

    Many job seekers stay off social media in fear that it will backfire when they go to apply for a new job. Social media, though, can be a great ally to you in your job hunt. Just be aware of what you put on there. Everything you place on social media needs to support you as a brand. When you send out a tweet, think about what a job recruiter could perceive should they scan your account and history. On LinkedIn, think about how you comment on posts of individuals and the impact it can have on perception.

    What you do on social media can help to inform recruiters, hiring managers, and staffing professionals of what you can bring to the table. It is great to have a resume and cover letter, but it is even better to have a social media background that supports everything you are putting forward.

    Dress for Success and Act on the Talk

    You never know who you are going to meet, so always dress for success. You need to position yourself not for your next role, but for the next few roles ahead. When a hiring manager hires for a position, they want to see that the person can take leaps over time. When you dress for success, you will be memorable and stand out in a positive way. 

    You also need to act and back up the brand you showcase. The best brand in the world has the quality product to back it up. Your work product needs to help promote your brand positively, not bring it down. Make sure you act on your talk and execute daily no matter what you are doing.

    You build a personal brand every day. Dress for success, talk your brand, and execute on what you are selling every day at work. Using social media as an ally, you can seek individual gain through career movement both internally or with a new external company. Your brand is your best asset for career advancement and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can use it to your advantage.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    Best Practices For Delivering Virtual Training Sessions

    While virtual training sessions were already popular, they are receiving unprecedented attention in 2020, all thanks to the global emergency that has forced all sorts of establishments behind closed doors.

    Fortunately, we had plenty of time to develop the tools required to deliver virtual training sessions. Unfortunately, nobody was prepared to find this method of instruction as the only possible way to deliver training.

    As a result, many of us found ourselves unprepared to deal with virtual instruction. Thankfully, there was a lot of help available online. However, there are not many articles about how instructors can deliver impactful training from in front of a camera.

    Delivering training sessions in a virtual environment poses an age old obstacle engaging learners.

    However, there are unique challenges associated with online training, like:

    • Not being able to see students’ faces. This means the instructors don’t have access to facial cues and students or learners have no supervision.
    • The learners may have a variety of distractions in their environment. From texting and watching videos, to other distractions from their family members, a virtual instructor has to combat with many more distractions in a virtual environment than in a classroom.

    Overcoming these challenges requires active efforts during the sessions and effective utilization of the tools at your disposal.

    Here are a few best practices that can help you deliver effective and impactful virtual training sessions:

    Provide A Blended Learning Experience

    Most businesses that adopt virtual instructor led training (VILT) usually combine it with some sort of self-paced training component. This practice is called blended training.

    Even if you are delivering an instructor-only training experience, you can (and should) still blend it with self-paced training material in the form of ‘additional reading’ and ‘reference material’.

    This way, you can ensure that your learners are primed and ready to receive the information you plan to share during the training session. Similarly, by providing them with additional reading material post the session, you can fortify and reinforce the information shared during the training.

    Lay Down Ground Rules

    Just like you, many learners in your training session will be attending online training for the very first time and may not know their end of the best practices.

    As an instructor, it is your job to set the tone and the expectation of the training session. This includes laying down some ground rules. These may include asking your learners to close the other tabs in their browsers and turn on airplane mode on their smartphones.

    Similarly, you must also develop a plan for the whole training session and share the flow with your audience. It is also a smart idea to demarcate a specific window of time for Q&A sessions. 

    Master The Technology

    Since you are delivering training on a digital platform, it is part of your job to be proficient with the technology being employed. 

    However, before you can do that, you must first find the right tools that suit your needs and style of training and presentation. The most important tool for the job is obviously a web conferencing software.

    The great news is, most of the modern web conferencing software come loaded with tools and features designed for the purpose of delivering online training. From virtual whiteboards to screen sharing capabilities, a web conferencing tool does it all.

    After you have chosen your web conferencing tool, it is important that you get acquainted with all the features it offers. This way, you can plan your online training sessions in a way that you can utilize these features to improve learner engagement and ultimately make more impact on them.

    For instance, you can utilize the common chat room feature of the web conferencing software to create a temporary repository of the questions that may pop up in the students’ heads during the session. Then, at the end of the session, you can address each of these questions one by one.

    This way, you can ensure that you miss no questions and the students can clear their doubts without having to interrupt the class.

    It is also important for you to be proficient enough with the web conferencing tool so that you can help out the learners with minor issues that they may face while connecting with you. This can help you save precious time and make the technical aspect of the process of delivering training smoother.

    Engage Consciously

    Without being physically present in a classroom, without having access to facial cues, it is important for trainers and instructors to make conscious efforts to engage learners.

    You can do this by following up your explanations with specifically addressed questions. For instance, after explaining a concept, you can ask one of your learners “Aaron, what did you think about this?”. Make sure you don’t ask a yes/no question so that the learner or student is actually forced to think about the answer.

    Doing this will compel your learners to stay on their toes during the session.

    Another way to catch learners’ attention and make your training sessions interesting is to make use of visual content. By using a combination of text based content, videos, audio content, and infographics, along with explanations given in the form of screencasts and virtual whiteboard notes, you can create a virtual learning experience that is not only interesting, but also caters to the different learning styles of your learners.

    Delivering virtual training sessions may or may not be more difficult than delivering traditional training sessions, but it sure is different. The unique challenges associated with virtual training demand innovative solutions and initiatives from the instructors.

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    Posted in Career Development

    4 Effective & Novel Tips to Boost Personal Blog Storytelling

    Personal blogs are still very much a trend in 2020. Last year, online blogs reached 500 million in total. For 2020, it’s expected that the number of bloggers in the U.S. alone will reach almost 32 million. Many of these are personal blogs where people share their experiences and thoughts from a first-person perspective.

    If you are among these people, you already know that this field has become quite competitive. You need to constantly find ways to keep it fresh and exciting for your readers. In this article, we’re bringing you some tips on how to do that:

    1. Try Introducing Fresh Voices

    When you are looking for ways to surprise your audience and provide a fresh perspective, the best way to do so is to allow a guest to write for your blog. This is a great thing to do from time to time because it will increase your blog brand awareness among the guest’s audience. It also shows that you know how to provide versatile, interesting content. 

    2. Interact with Your Readers

    Social media used in a business context can do wonders for self-employed bloggers and online entrepreneurs. The reason is that it allows you to directly interact with your readers. Up until recently, the only way creators and personal bloggers could interact with their audience is through the blog’s comments or via email. Now, there are dozens of different resources that allow you to reach out to your audience.

    Interaction is not only a recipe for high engagement, but it’s also useful in storytelling. Your brand’s positive impression is built strongly on positive relationships with your audience. In some of your blog posts, you can include some good stories about your interaction with readers. 

    3. Don’t Be Afraid of Being Vulnerable

    Showing vulnerability and intimacy is actually the secret recipe of success for personal blogs. People love reading pieces from people who are down to Earth, honest and authentic. No matter the exact things you are talking about, people want to see that you are a human being and that you make mistakes, too.

    For example, one of my friends frequently blogged about her PhD, dissertation and her process of writing. She had a solid readership, but it was mostly other PhD students. Then, she published a frank and open post about how she ordered a dissertation discussion chapter from a writing service. This post blew up and went viral because it was the first time she showed that she was experiencing any issues with her dissertation writing.

    4. Find the Right Channel to Promote Your Blog

    The key to successful marketing is planning your content ahead of time. Of course, it’s fun and exciting to post and improvise as you go, but that definitely doesn’t guarantee the sustainable growth of your blog website.

    Notice how different audiences across different social media platforms react to your content. Learn how to adapt your message and storytelling for each particular profile you are using. 

    Storytelling practices for blogs and personal brands change frequently. The best example of this was the recent crisis, where blogs had to quickly adapt and learn how to align their voices and plans to fit the current situation. Given that there is no end in sight, personal blogs will need to learn how to take 2020 issues into account, but also optimistically stride into the future.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    How to Choose the Right Name for Your Business

    A business name works as a face. You have to keep your face attractive, appealing, and attention-grabbing. Deciding on a name is not a task that you can complete in mere minutes. A business name selection should include lots of research, brainstorming, analysis, and expert guidance. 

    For best results, perform all of the following steps in an organized manner.

    Step 1: Brainstorming and Inspirations 

    Before starting to think about the name, ask yourself these questions:

    • What are your business goals?
    • How do you want to represent the business and showcase your brand?
    • What kind of reputation or image do you want to build in the marketplace?

    Your answers will provide direction for brainstorming.

    To come up with the best name, try out words from foreign languages, your favorite words, and words found in English literature and history books. Also try to create a combination of words.

    If you are running out of words, get inspiration from different sources (names of places, cities, street names, existing shops, etc.). 

    Step 2: Test the Name 

    After a brainstorming session, some terms may appear as the business name, but running a proper name test will be useful in choosing the correct word. For a test, consider the following checklist:

    • Easy to pronounce 
    • Easy to spell 
    • Easy to remember 
    • Easy to share 
    • Easy to type and search via mobile devices 

    Along with these, check out the meaning of terms in different languages. Sometimes, your selected name has a diverse and weird meaning in another language, which would make it not suitable for establishing business globally.

    The name should be perfect and sounds good in all languages, especially in the areas you want to serve. It should have a positive meaning while representing your business, brand, and services. 

    Step 3: URL and Social Media Availability Check 

    In today’s competitive world, you have to focus on the online marketplace and social media awareness. Having an impressive business name is not enough for success and consistent growth. After selecting the name, you should search for a domain name. Owning a domain name similar to the business name is useful in increasing online visibility. It also builds a good brand image in the online market. 

    While selecting a domain name, you should prefer the .com domain. If someone already has that URL, then you should try to buy it. Here you should contact the domain owner and convince him/her to sell. In case you don’t get the .com URL, then you should focus on others.

    When you decide all elements-related to the domain, then focus on social media platforms. We all know the power of social media and its influence on users. With a well-maintained and updated social media account, you can influence the audience and generate business leads. You should choose the usernames on different platforms similar to the business or domain name. You have to set up the social profiles that can represent your business effectively. 

    Step 4: Trademark Search 

    In the business world, the most crucial factor of any business name is copyright. If you don’t want to keep business limited to a specific area, you must have a registered trademark. A trademark showcases your authority. 

    Before proceeding to the trademark registration, you should check out the trademark database properly. With it, you can run an inspection in your state regarding the business name. If someone already has a similar name or trademark (officially or unofficially), it can be a big issue. 

    Mistakes to Avoid 

    Including Everyone 

    It is good to get suggestions from others in order to come up with the best name, but including everyone from family and friends in the naming process can prove to be a big mistake. Including many people may lead to different types of suggestions and clash of interests. It makes things messier instead of solving the problem. 

    For sorting out things and making the right decision quickly, you should involve key persons only. Try to add people who have an interest in your business and understand its functions and operations. 

    Refusing to Change 

    After deciding on a business name, you should remain flexible in case you later discover that your business name needs to change. The biggest mistake you can make is to refuse to change your business name if needed because you’re so tied to it. 

    Leave the old name behind and put effort into brainstorming for a new name. You may need to work on the complete process again, but you should not hesitate to do so. Investing time here can provide benefits in the future. 

    All these facts will help you in understanding lots of aspects regarding the selection of a business name. You need to be aware of the mistakes mentioned above and avoid them as much as possible. It is good to get some guidance from experts to ward off silly mistakes and errors. You can contact any experienced businessman in your contact list to help you out and provide direction. 

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    6 Top Paying Jobs for College Students

    Being a college student is not an easy job, but add to that looking for a job when you are a student and it’s a lot to balance. You may not have much work experience yet, but you’re likely full of energy and ambitions to show yourself.

    When looking for a job, you will want to find one with a flexible schedule so that you can attend classes, complete homework, and study. It’s hard to find a job with enough flexibility for such a schedule. Though, it’s possible. Here is the list of top-paying jobs for college students that everyone can master. 

    1. Tutor

    You don’t have to be an expert in a specific field in order to become a tutor. You also don’t have to have numerous certificates to prove your qualifications. In fact, all you need is to be confident in your skills. If you genuinely want to teach others, then start by thinking through which subjects you would enjoy tutoring someone in. Maybe you are good at math and can help someone with their homework. Maybe you write quite well, so you can teach others some writing tricks. There is a speedy paper legit writing service to help you evaluate your writing skills. Perhaps you play the guitar or read tarot cards. Just find people who want to upgrade their skills and offer them your services. 

    2. Bartender

    Likely, we don’t need to go into specifics describing this job, but here are a few details you need to consider before trying to be a bartender. First, you need to love working with people. A bartender is a very social job that requires a lot of communication, smiling, and small talk. Second, you’ll have to work night shifts. This is a great option if you’re a night owl. Finally, you have to like mixing drinks. That’s pretty much it. You can start as an apprentice working your way to a full-time bartender. Working in good establishments can be very financially beneficial. 

    3. Copywriter

    If you’re not having much luck finding a job with a flexible schedule, you can look into freelance jobs. Think of the talents you have and where you can apply them. If you have a talent in writing, you could think of becoming a freelance writer or copywriter. This job can be for you if you love writing, good with deadlines, and can manage your workload by yourself. You can check out a few freelance platforms to see the types of work they offer, prices, and more. There are many essay writing services reviews to give you a hint on where to start. Any professional essay writers at scamfighter.net can answer your further queries.

    4. Resume writer

    It’s kind of funny to suggest students in the midst of their own job hunt become resume writers, but good resume writers can earn a pretty decent salary for little work. You just need some time to get the hang of this kind of work and the rest will go smoothly. You receive a request from a client, collect the necessary information, and make a resume sample for their approval. You need good communication skills, some creativity, and a proper understanding of the labor market and HR work. Practice makes it perfect; don’t worry. 

    5. Fitness instructor

    If you love sports and sports love you, becoming a fitness instructor is for you. You don’t need much to begin. You just need to know fitness, be in good physical shape, and be ready for a challenge. The work is good for those who want to manage their own working schedule. It’s also great for those who love working out and helping others. This job is also so rewarding. Eventually, you’ll have so many grateful clients that it will be better than any financial reward. Though, of course, fitness instructors earn pretty good money to compensate for their hard work. 

    6. Graphic designer

    You don’t need to know how to draw in order to be a graphic designer! Shocking, I know. Of course, if you can draw, it will help you. What you really need is to master some of the main software for graphic design like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Learning how to work in these programs is your ticket to high salary jobs, but you’ll need to create a solid portfolio and build a client base.

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    How Organizational Leadership Fits With Human Resources

    Organizational leadership is often paired with human resources. Some see the two as different sides of the same coin while others view it as two separate disciplines. While each plays a specific role, they do overlap in certain areas.

    Human resources focuses primarily on the employment process from recruitment to termination and is task-focused. HR deals with employee management, payroll, training and development, mentorship, labor relations, policy development, and legal and government compliance.

    Organizational leadership is more visionary. It takes a broader view of the company’s direction and applies critical thinking to identify opportunities for growth and development. Often, this involves change. Those trained in organizational leadership use principles of psychology and behavioral science to guide management and employees through the change process.

    How does organizational leadership fit with human resources?

    Organizational leadership focuses on the overarching company strategy while human resources manage the human capital strategy. Organizational leaders help marry employee goals with organizational goals.

    Despite artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics becoming more common in the workplace, companies still require human resources to function. Where organizational development (OD) overlaps with HR is in leveraging human resources to effect change. OD goals cannot be achieved without human resources.

    Here are three organizational change processes that HR and OD need to manage together.

    1. Restructuring

    When restructuring is necessary, HR and organizational leaders combine efforts to identify talent and redirect their skills towards meeting the company’s goals. This may require working with HR to train employees for new or adapted roles. It may also require lay-offs and the OD practitioner can help steer the company through such a difficult time while the HR practitioner handles the termination process.

    2. Changing the company’s culture

    Both HR and organizational development are involved in establishing the company’s culture. If the culture is negative or toxic, OD may drive the shift to a healthier organizational culture while HR will help entrench it and encourage new employees to embrace it.

    3. Mergers and acquisitions

    During a merger, tensions and anxiety often run high among employees. Employees may fear losing their job or having their role changed. They may feel unsettled at the thought of new staff joining their team, being assigned a new line manager, or a disruption in the organization’s culture.

    If changes like these are being implemented, HR will manage many of these processes and counsel employees individually in order to allay fears. Organizational leaders will explain the new vision and how the two companies will be integrated.

    Clear and ongoing communication is key to managing an M&A. Let’s look at two examples, one of a successful M&A and one a failed M&A:

    • When ICICI merged with Bank of Madura, the two banks managed to successfully build a cohesive company in just one year. ICICI, one of India’s largest banks, merged with the much smaller Bank of Madura. Many Bank of Madura employees were understandably nervous about their future prospects in the new company. They managed the process in the following way:
      • Clear communication channels were in place throughout the process.
      • Training programs were implemented to upgrade knowledge and skills of the employees and manage expectations and attitudes.
      • ICICI kept communication lines open with Bank of Madura’s employee unions to maintain good employee relations.
      • Both banks experienced staff reshuffling. ICICI transferred 450 BoM employees to ICICI Bank, while 300 ICICI employees were shifted to BoM branches.
    • The Daimler-Chrysler merger, on the other hand, is an example of poor cultural change management that led to a failed merger. German company Daimler’s hierarchical and bureaucratic management style clashed with Chrysler’s more relaxed American style. The cultural differences led to power struggles that were not managed properly, and ultimately the two companies parted ways.

    How to create more synergy between HR and organizational leadership

    HR focuses on the day-to-day management of employees. Organizational leadership focuses on employee empowerment and how to get the best out of each employee. Both approaches are needed in an organization and a more hybrid model of HR will include both. Both these disciplines have strengths that complement the other.

    However, some OD practitioners like to draw a distinction between the two fields. Rather than put HR into a box, OD should draw HR into strategic discussions and planning. This helps HR broaden their vision and see the organization’s bigger picture.

    Working in partnership while focusing on their respective strengths is key to creating more synergy. HR’s role is to find great talent, and OD directs that talent in a way that best serves the organization’s goals. Both can work with employees to train and map a career path that capitalizes on their strengths and keeps them engaged. An engaged employee is passionate and productive and that leads to more successful organizations.

    Human resource departments have often been undervalued in the past. This is largely due to their legacy as personnel management departments. Modern HR has shed this traditional image by incorporating additional functions, such as employee welfare. The rise in the role of organizational leadership is helping HR evolve even further into a more strategic role.

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    Posted in management, Skill Development, Workplace Success

    10 Tips for Self-Development During COVID-19

    One of the toughest things about the coronavirus pandemic is the huge adjustment we’ve all had to make in our personal and professional lives. Lots of people have lost their jobs, and the majority of those that didn’t had to adjust to working from home. In fact, 64% of U.S. employees are working from home now. 

    While working from home does have many perks, many of us are missing out on the stimulation our offices provided. So why not utilize your former commute time to invest in yourself? Here are some ideas to get you started:

    1. Take Online Courses

    Even if you can’t spend a lot of time outside of your home, you still have the world of information underneath your fingertips when you go online. There are plenty of online courses you can take for personal and professional development. Some programs will even allow you to earn certifications and credits. For example, Coderbyte helps web developers prep for interviews and offers starter courses for those just entering the field. 

    2. Learn a New Language

    There are plenty of ways in which you can master another language during the pandemic. You can take online courses; watch YouTube videos; immerse yourself in foreign movies, TV shows, and books; or you can have one-on-one lessons with a private tutor via Skype or another platform. You can pick a language that might benefit your job, or you can learn the language of a country you would like to visit once things return to normal.

    3. Start a Blog

    Starting a blog will not only help you develop writing skills, but it can also help you establish yourself as an authoritative resource if you are an expert on a particular subject. This not only looks good on your resume, but it can also grow into a profitable career.

    4. Read Books

    Even if you don’t feel like reading the classics, reading a book will engage your brain in a much different way than movies or TV shows. This is because it’s a more active process, since your brain is working harder to create images or understand different concepts. Plus, it’s just about the safest and cheapest way to experience different places and cultures. 

    Recommended reading: 8 Self-Empowerment Books to Help You Take Back 2020

    5. Watch Documentaries

    While right now is definitely the time to binge on your favorite TV shows, you should also aim to watch more educational content. There are plenty of free, high-quality documentaries online, as well as education channels on YouTube that can help you pick new skills or deepen your knowledge.

    6. Adopt Healthy Habits

    Having a less active lifestyle means you should adopt more healthy habits. This can include getting more exercise, drinking more water, cutting down on sugar and junk food, as well as developing a better morning routine. You will not only feel better,  but you will also be more motivated and productive.

    7. Create Something

    One of the downsides of most modern professions is that you are too detached from the final product, or the product itself is too abstract. To experience the satisfaction of creating something from start to finish, you can make use of numerous DIY tutorials and instructions that are available online.

    8. Network with Other People

    Networking is one of the best ways to grow your professional network while also increasing your ability to make new connections with people more easily. Once you have a few connections, you can start learning from them by picking their brain and collaborating on projects together. Building your contacts list and sharing your knowledge will definitely help you advance your career. There are even a few creative ways you can network online during the pandemic. 

    9. Listen to Podcasts

    The best thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while doing something else. Find ones you can have on in the background, but also seek out ones you will gain insight and knowledge from. Audiobooks also work well for this. 

    Recommended podcasts: 6 Podcasts for Side Hustlers & Entrepreneurs

     10. Beef Up Your Resume

    We usually forget about this one until we come across an exciting job opportunity, which is why you should not only take the time to update your resume, but your LinkedIn profile as well. Also, clean up your social media profiles, especially if they are public.

    Although you should definitely take some time for yourself and just do nothing, after a while, it would be good to make use of it in a more meaningful way. We hope that these tips will help you do just that.

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    Posted in Career Development

    Crucial Strategies to Resolve Conflicts in The Workplace

    While you may not be working in an office setting with your coworkers anymore, that doesn’t mean conflict has gone away. In fact, everyone working from home causes its own set of communication issues and challenges that can also lead to conflict. That’s why it’s helpful to know how to de-escalate conversations that become heated, especially when these conversations don’t happen in person. In the end, it’s all about feeling what needs to be done and then acting accordingly. Here are some guidelines to help you out.

    1. Embrace the conflict

    When there is a conflict between yourself and a coworker or boss, don’t try to deny or control it. That kind of action tends to only create more tension in the long run. Face the music and address the source of tension as soon as you can. It is better to ask your coworker questions about the situation and their feelings than to draw conclusions on your own.

    2. Have a joint conversation

    Once you’ve identified that there is indeed a conflict, set up a convenient time for you and the other person involved to discuss the situation freely without being interrupted.

    As a dissertation help assistant and psychologist, I know that having to stop in the middle of the sentence can provoke anger or bitterness; the same goes for not having enough time to finish what you wanted to say. Both sides should hear each other out and have enough time to express their opinion on the issue at hand. That means making sure you don’t take over the whole conversation. Some people tend to monopolize a conversation or control the topics discussed, and that is never beneficial to anyone. Also, remind yourself that the most important rule of a conversation is to address one’s ideas, not attack the person. This is probably the most important rule you should both set up before the conversation starts.

    3. Listen to both sides

    It is crucial that you give importance to what the other party says, regardless of your subjective opinion on the situation. Do not interrupt them with a comment, unless it is to keep them aware that they are monopolizing the conversation. Make sure that you get the messages that they are trying to send and confirm that you understand where they are coming from. A good way to let them know that you recognize what they said would be repeating what they stated in other words. Adding “Let me make sure I get this….” in front of your confirmation sentence is very
    effective.

    If you don’t understand something, ask questions! It is important to get the whole picture before drawing any conclusions. In the end, you are human, so they will understand that you need clarification. As assignment help coordinator, Dan James, recommends, “Make sure you don’t react to any of their statements. Conflict resolution is about understanding, not criticizing. Let them speak freely and listen with an open heart.”

    4. Find the agreement between parties

    Even if the conversation will primarily focus on the topic of disagreement, a good way to find resolution is by finding a common viewpoint. Focusing on the positive is more efficient than concentrating on the negative. So, after both of you argue your points, try to understand where you two connect. What were the commonalities of the conversation? What is one thing that both of you want?

    Looking for a common viewpoint might make you understand that you are, in fact, striving for the same thing. You have the same objective but different means to achieve it. Seeking out common ground can only make both of you become more interested in what the other has to say and might, in the end, even lead to a friendship.

    5. Forgive and forget

    Every conflict has its ups and downs. Make sure you focus on the ups. Remind yourself why you needed to have this conversation. What did you gain from it? What did the other party gain from it? Shake hands at the end of the conversation as a way to reconnect as humans and people. Apologize for causing them any inconveniences and be kind about it.

    Solving conflicts in the workplace can be quite challenging but is nevertheless worth it. If you follow the guidelines above, you will add a great deal of comfort and calm to the conversation.

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    Posted in Career Development, Workplace Success

    How to Recession-Proof Your Personal Brand to Thrive in Difficult Times

    The USA, like much of the world, has now officially entered a period of recession thanks to COVID-19. The pandemic has swept across the world and introduced challenges nobody could have foreseen. 

    If you’re like most, you might be worrying about what this situation means for your future. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to recession-proof your personal brand and continue to thrive in these difficult times. 

    Let’s dive in. 

    Focus on your personal website

    Your personal blog or website is the first place prospective clients, customers, and employers will go when they want to learn more about you. Therefore, make sure it’s up to date and as good as it can be. 

    Add to your portfolio, update your “About Me” page, and create plenty of fresh, relevant content on a regular basis. An amazing website not only makes you more findable via improving your SEO, but also shows off who you are and what you can do.  

    Another advantage of a great website? You can make money blogging as an additional source of income. 

    Put your values front and center

    What is most important to you? What kind of person do you want to be? Identify your core values, and keep them at the heart of everything you do as you grow your brand during the crisis. 

    Not sure what your values are? Take the time to sit down and brainstorm. I recommend summing up your core values in three to five words or phrases. Values are innately personal, so ensure that whatever you land on feels right for you. 

    Invest in marketing

    You might be thinking that you should cut back on marketing to save money. But this would be a mistake. Your marketing is not an unnecessary expenditure in your budget — it’s essential. At best, cutting your marketing budget in response to a crisis is a short-term solution which will leave you in a weaker position when the downturn ends. Therefore, if you want your brand and your business to survive the recession, keep investing in your marketing.

    You don’t need a huge budget to do effective marketing. Invest in the most cost-efficient strategies such as email marketing, SEO, and social media.

    Offer as much value as you can

    Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or looking to land your next dream job, offering as much value as possible is the best way to keep thriving in difficult times. Therefore, always ask yourself what you can do to add value for your clients, customers, or employer. 

    Don’t be tempted to cut your prices. This doesn’t make people feel they’re getting more for their money. It devalues what they think your services are worth, which is the opposite of what you want. Instead, focus on building a specialized offering, increasing your content output, and improving your skills to provide added value

    Uniqueness is important when it comes to personal branding, too. What value can you add that no-one else can? In other words, why should people choose to work with you over any of the other people who do something similar? 

    Build your network

    “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” as the saying goes. And many businesses and brands will live or die by their networks over the next few years. Therefore, if you haven’t previously invested much time in networking, this is a great time to start. 

    If you already have a strong network, invest the time it takes to nurture it. Engage with the people, groups, and businesses you follow on LinkedIn. Join a virtual networking group (many groups that used to meet in-person have moved online during the pandemic). Say yes to that request to catch up over coffee. Drop people in your network a line — not to sell them anything, but just to check in and stay connected. 

    Effective networking has far-reaching benefits. A strong network builds trust in your brand, establishes your credibility as an expert in your niche, and gets your offering in front of more people. 

    Adapt to the changing circumstances

    Things are not the same as they were a year ago, or six months ago, or even a month ago. The situation is changing rapidly, and we are all learning how to respond to it as we go along. But the people and businesses that thrive will be the ones who are capable of adapting. 

    This is the time to think outside the box. If your previous offering is no longer marketable in this new reality, how can you pivot to a new approach? Did you put a project on the back burner last year that you can now revisit in a new way? Who desperately needs your skills right now, and how can you reach those people? 

    Be mindful of behaving ethically 

    The term “Disaster Capitalism,” coined by author and activist Naomi Klein, refers to using situations of crisis or tragedy for financial gain. One example is the companies that started selling hand sanitizer at an enormous mark-up at the start of the pandemic. Be extra mindful of behaving ethically during times of crisis, and do not be tempted to play on fear to make a quick buck. 

    Aim for content that makes the reader or viewer feel good, that delivers a message based on hope rather than panic, and that centers your brand values. 

    Keeping your personal brand strong in challenging times

    The world has fundamentally changed in the last few months, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. But change does not have to spell disaster. If you remain adaptable, focus on providing value, and ensure you behave ethically, there’s no reason your personal brand can’t weather this storm and come out stronger.

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    Posted in Personal Branding
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