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Creating Successful Leaders

Tag Archives: Career Coach

be a candle

We’re digging into the darkest days of the year. This lack of sunshine can have a strange effect on people and can cause us to feel anxious or depressed. The holiday season may help some people stave off these negative feelings…or it may amplify them. It all depends on what people associate with the holidays. Some may feel joy, camaraderie, and relaxation…while others might feel lonely, stressed, or sad.

If you’re able, be a candle.

If you feel safe, secure, well-loved, or any number of positive feelings this season, share some of that positivity with others. Be the light that they need.

That doesn’t mean that things have to be perfect in order for you to shine some of your light on others. Things are never perfect. But if you notice someone else has been in a dark place lately, take the time to reach out. Share your abundance, your joy.

That’s the thing about candles: if you pass one flame to another, you don’t diminish the flame of the first candle. You only add to the light.

How can you light up others’ lives this holiday season?

  • Invite a neglected co-worker to lunch
  • Bring in holiday treats
  • Reach out to an old friend
  • Write thank you/appreciation cards to co-workers or acquaintances
  • Leave generous tips to those in the service industry
  • Smile more often
  • Volunteer

Your personal light will only grow more brilliant every time you share it with others. Be bold this holiday season and BE BRIGHT.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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overwhelming social mediaHappy social media month! If that phrase makes you roll your eyes or shudder, you’re reading the right blog post. Many small business owners cringe when they think about social media marketing. They don’t know where to begin; they’re not sure why it’s valuable; they don’t know which platforms to choose. I cover all of this in greater depth in my May newsletter, but for now, let me lay out a few basics for the reluctant social media user:

1. Choose the platforms that are right for you.

There are dozens of social media platforms in existence today–everything from Instagram to Tumblr, Facebook to Ello, Flickr to Pinterest. What’s right for you? If you truly don’t know where to begin, hire a social media strategist to help get you on the right track. Or, if you don’t mind doing your own research, hop online and look up companies that are similar to yours. Find out what social media networks they’re the most active in, what kind of things they post, and how often they post. Or, you could always ask your teenage son/daughter for some help!

2. Create a sustainable plan

Once you’ve determined which social media platforms you’d like to use, figure out a posting strategy. Typically, you’ll want to post something at least a couple times each week (more for Twitter or Pinterest), and a social media strategist (or online research) can help you determine the best course of action. HOWEVER, do not commit to a schedule that isn’t going to be sustainable for YOU. Even though it may be optimal to post to Twitter 8 times per day, do you really think you’ll be able to keep up that pace? Figure out what works for you. Maybe you’ll choose to post a relevant photograph twice a week; maybe you’ll post a business tip once a week. Create a schedule, stick with it, and adjust the schedule as needed down the road.

3. Foster community

Remember, social media is not about YOU (as counter-intuitive as that may sound). It’s about your network, your community. If you’d like to engage and energize your network, be sure to make them feel included. Ask them questions (i.e. if you sell apparel, ask your audience what their favorite travel outfit is. OR, if you sell flowers, post a few pictures of different floral arrangements and ask your audience to vote on their favorite). Also, give your audience bits of relevant, useful information they can use. I often post career tips and tricks, or links to my latest blog posts. Don’t forget to visit others’ profiles and “Like” or re-post their content. This demonstrates that you are active in the community and excited about what others are doing (and not just focused on yourself or your own business). Besides, there’s a lot of great information out there. It’s fun to see what others are sharing.

Good luck with fitting social media into your marketing strategy. It’s a valuable way to connect with your audience and reach a wide range of people at a low cost. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating if you stick with the three main guidelines I laid out. Relax, have fun, and socialize!

If you’d like any additional guidance, please feel free to reach out and contact me.

 

 

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workfromhomejobs

More and more workers are stepping out of the office permanently, according to an article I just read which talks about how working from home has risen from three years ago.

The benefit for the worker is pretty obvious, and workers have been in favor of this for a long time. More flexible hours, convenience, and independence, to name a few. But now business owners too are beginning to see the value of the mobile worker.

The reason for this, according to the article, is “the access they [business owners] now have to professionals without geography posing a barrier.” Thanks to technologies like Skype and cloud-based file sharing, businesses now have a much larger pool of talent to choose from without needing to keep their search limited to the city where their headquarters is based.

Having a mobile workforce also boosts productivity, as workers feel more ownership over their work and enjoy the freedom to work where and when they choose.

So the benefits are pretty compelling. Is this something you’ve considered for your business?

To get comfortable with a new approach to leading and managing people, you’ll need to:

-Familiarize yourself with the tools that ensure communication between you and the mobile worker. Skype, the internal social media site Yammer, and Dropbox (or something like it) are crucial.

-Trust your mobile workers know what to do without your constant supervision. Micro-management, which I’m opposed to in the first place, is impossible with this worker arrangement.

-Determine what jobs can be done outside the workplace.

-Make a point to have face-to-face meetings periodically. The power of real face-time always trumps mobile communication, so schedule consistent times where mobile workers can come in and feel a part of the team.

 

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