The Top Skills You’ll Need To Improve Your Future

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We all want to be able to better ourselves. But it’s not always easy to know exactly what you need to do in order for that to happen. A lot of the time, we work on our careers subconsciously. We go in, do our jobs, and perform to the best of our abilities. Sure, you may have a goal that you want to get to, you may even have a written plan of the promotions that you want. But do you actively think about the skills you need in order for this to all work out? Because right now, there are some key skills that everyone should look to develop. Regardless of what you do for your job, or what industry you’re in, there are five things that will help you to do well and progress.

  1. Communication Skills

First of all, you’re going to want to think about how you interact with others. No matter if you’re starting out at the bottom of the chain or you’re on your way to the top, communication skills can take you a long way. People work for people, so you have to be able to communicate well with them – whether you’re the boss or the employee. You should also look to work on your interpersonal skills, and think about the things you can do to improve your business relationships too.

  1. An Innovative Mindset

Next, you’re going to want to train your brain to be more innovative. It’s okay if this doesn’t come naturally to you. But if you want to add value to the company you work for, even if it’s your own – especially if it’s your own, then you need to focus on the future, creating, and ways to develop what you have or what you’re doing now to move with the times. Particularly in this internet-driven world, this is a skill that will take you far.

  1. Marketing Skills

So next, it’s also handy to know a little bit about marketing. Even if you’re not in marketing, it’s going to help you to do your job better – no matter what it is. Of course, you can hire consultants and companies for everything from killer PR to the best SEO, but it’s handy to be experienced in these areas yourself. That way, you’ll know if you’re choosing the right companies, or if you’re getting the results you need.

  1. A Willingness To Learn

If you want to be able to grow, you then need to realize that it’s okay to fail. Failures happen, but you’ll always be able to learn from them. If you want to go far, then always be able to accept that you’re going to learn along the way.

  1. Empathy

Finally, as much as you may feel as if you have to be tough and authoritative in your career, you may find that being the opposite is better. If you can have empathy and be a good colleague and boss, you’ll find that you’re more influential, you’ll get people that respect you.

How Companies Can Use Generational Differences To Their Advantage

It’s natural for any new worker to look around to see how many people are around their age at first, but there’s a huge opportunity lost when companies only recruit one age group.

Generational conflict will always exist based on style preference alone.

But workplaces can flip the script on older vs. younger in one swoop: cross-generational mentoring.

When you think of mentor it is assumed older-to-younger knowledge transfer, but don’t mistake age for experience.

Millennials were raised with technology so even with lacking workplace experience, their digital knowledge is far superior than generations above them. On the opposite end Boomers and Gen X understand office politics, communication and responsibility better.

This “fair trade” can be a huge asset to your bottom line if utilized properly.

There’s no better teacher than trial and error. Also if you really want to understand a concept, teach it. When workers are paired with co-workers of different ages the focus is on individual strengths instead of nitpicking about disparity.

Professional development is a huge retention benefit and when companies empower that responsibility to co-workers there’s more ownership taken because each person is involved with the process.

The term diversity normally pertains to ethnicity, but age diversity is just as important.

The healthiest organizations find ways to appreciate and value workers of all ages because everyone has something to offer others.

If employees expect management to provide direction solely, workers gain a “consumer’s” mentality believing learning needs to be spoon-fed to me. When cross-generational mentoring exists “learning” becomes a personal responsibility. Companies need to quickly dispel the notion that growth opportunities only happen within a organizational context.

When I advise clients who are job searching I always emphasize that personal growth is your responsibility. Anything a company provides is a bonus.

Make it your mission to find a mentor and mentee and learning becomes a habit, not a destination.

My 3 Thoughts On This Millennials And Their Careers Infographic

1. Single vs. Promotion – Context people. 41% said they would end a relationship for a life-changing promotion. Those are single people talking. For those who are in their 20’s and career matters more, you aren’t interested in a relationship anyway. For those who are in their 30’s, men and women differ on this, the pressure you feel to get married and start a family will change your answer. Hypothetical vs. reality is much different. Career may come before relationships for Millennials, but it doesn’t mean they don’t care or that stereotypes are accurate.

2. I’m Picky – Same as when people respond, “he/she’s not my type.” That’s your ego talking. Why admit you’re hurt? Instead blow it off, blame someone/thing else or defend your standards. Relationships are about compromise, but don’t confuse that with settling. People who reach their 40’s and are still single are unwilling to change their lifestyle. They say they want to find someone, but what they really want is to live on their terms. No matter how self-confident you are, anyone can leave you. Living in fear isn’t the answer, but understanding it’s more about what you give than receive in a relationship is healthy.

3. Time to Settle Down35 is the average age based on what? Reality shows like the Bachelor, Married At First Sight and Are You The One are far from it. Saying you’re ready for marriage isn’t like stating you’re hungry. Timing is the biggest factor. You can’t force something to happen if it’s not there. “35” may be your ideal age, but your partner may feel differently. Expectations lead to disappointment. It’s fine to have them, but similar to a business plan you better be ready to pivot. Once again this is based from an “I” statement. Problem is a relationship is a “we” scenario. Rather than focus on an age, focus on the person you want to be with and go from there.

Discover How To Find Fantastic Opportunities Online

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A quick look at the job or business market will probably lead you to believe that opportunities are slim. But actually, they’re not. You just need to know how to look or rather how to get the attention of the right people. If you make the right decisions online, you won’t have to go looking for your next job or employment contract. Instead, the client or the employer will come looking for you. We’re going to teach you some of the best ways to make sure that you are making the most of what the online world has to offer when you are chartering your career.

Use Social Media Effectively

There’s no excuse anymore, if you’re on the job market, you need to make sure that you are active on social media. It’s not uncommon these days for employers to use social media detectives when they recruit for a position. It could be one of the first things that they look for. Essentially, this individual will be looking for your digital footprint online. You might think that if there’s nothing to find this is the brightest outcome, but it isn’t. Your social media can be a digital snapshot of who you are and what you could bring to a business. If you show the right qualities and traits, you could be in a prime position to get the interview and impress them even further.

Obviously, the main social media to focus on would be Linkedin. Here, you can build up an actual professional profile and give employers all the information they need to consider you. The downside of this is that if there is a problem with your profile, you’ll be passed over for a lot of jobs without ever realizing why. The plus side is that if your profile is great, you could find jobs without even trying.

Get A Recruitment Agency On Your Side

What is a recruitment agency? A recruitment agency will essentially be the keyholders of your CV. By doing this, you can pay to have a company manage your job prospects for you. If you have the money, this is well worth doing. It essentially means that businesses or clients will go to the agency for CVs or indeed advice on who to hire. The agency can then recommend you if they think that you’ll be suited for the position.

This can work both ways. Business owners or individuals can look for things like commercial construction jobs on one side, while on the other clients or other business owners can seek out the contractors and managers they might want to hire. Regardless of what side you’re on, it will be useful to get a recruitment agency.

Never Forget To Network

Finally, you need to make sure that you are networking as much as possible, connecting with people who could benefit your career. As the old saying goes, it isn’t what you know but rather who you know. These days, it’s easy to get to know people in the online world who could help drive you towards career victory.

How To End Professional Relationships Well & Conclusively

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A professional candor and personality, particularly in the field of your career, can help you achieve untold things and form wonderful relationships. However, much like anything else, those relationships will change over time. Sometimes they can even come to a halt. This might be precipitated by a natural growing apart, or you might be wrestled from that person by a circumstance or difficulty. It could be a conflict that promises to make you both weaker after the exchange.

Knowing how to end relationships professionally and conclusively is one of the hidden skills of the competent business leader. It’s also the one that is thought about the least, as no new business owner or even employee believes things will end in conflict with certain parties. Sometimes however, things don’t work out. It’s unlikely you’ll evade a form of workplace conflict for the entirety of your life, so it’s important to know how to handle it.

Here are some tips to help you do that:

Go Through The Right Channels

It can be dizzying to handle all the requirements of the situation by yourself. This can surely make you feel less than you are, and trouble you as you come to a solution.  It might come with a great deal of stress as an added consequence. Going through the right channels can help you with this. This means either using a lawyer to handle a situation or litigate your woes effectively, or it could be preventing that step with the right advisory, conciliation and arbitration service.

Sometimes having an official platform to backup your side of the argument can help you win the situation. It might be that these services suggest that you’re in the wrong, and how to best manage your affairs to evade the coming issues with the most dignity and least harm. Whatever happens, knowing you have a professional eye looking over your affairs can be calming when every move you make will matter in the long run.

Communicate

Miscommunication between people can be one of the most insidious and difficult things for either party to get over. Either a wrong word here or an insult there can create a toxic atmosphere, in which both sides believe they have to ‘up the stakes’ in order to achieve a win. This becomes a self-reinforcing feedback loop which puts people down, and makes the whole affair feel awful for you both.

Communication can also stop things from escalating in other ways. If you manage to express or listen to a rationale from either side, it might be that the atmosphere of the ending is put to rest much more easily than assuming idiocy on the opposing side. It’s very easy to think that the other person is completely out to get you, but often they’re simply acting in self-interest, as you are. It won’t always happen, but sometimes you can evade one in five destroyed relationships. Not that you’re to experience this many, but you get the point of how this step is always worth trying.

With this effort, we for sure know that you’ll be justified in ending your relationship, because you’ll have handled it expertly.

A Career Is More Than A Paycheck. Here’s Why

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What are you looking for in life? There are many different answers you could give to that question, including health, happiness, and wealth. But whatever you answer with, there is a good chance that your career will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals in life. You might find that it can even help to boost your personal life and achieve some personal goals.

As you can probably tell, then, a career is more than just a paycheck. It’s not just the money that you should think about when you are looking for a job, there are other factors to think about as well. Here are just a few of them.

People First

All good companies will put their people first. When you start a job hunt, it really is important that you research all businesses you are considering so that you can find out about their company culture to make sure that people always come before anything else. Your job can have a huge impact on your mental health, and if your employers aren’t respectful of this, then your overall health will be at risk. So, in order to feel respected and appreciated at work, make sure you always apply to companies that put their people ahead of anything else.

The Social Side

Work shouldn’t be all about work. There needs to be a good social side as well! Working in a company that has a great culture and team, such as small and medium businesses like www.arksolvers.com, can have many great benefits but the main one has to be the fact that everyone clubs together and the team will feel more like a family. Everyone supports one another and helps each other out whenever things in the office get a bit on the stressful side!

The Work Excites You

Every day at work needs to be exciting, informative, and different from the one before. After all, you will be working for around forty years, so you need to ensure that you find a job that keeps you on your toes! Think about what your passions and hobbies in life are and see if you can find a job that fits these. You will then have a whole lot of fun in your work and will enjoy every minute. Trust me, that will make it a lot more bearable for the next forty years!

There Are Good Prospects

In a career, you need to have the ability to move forward in your work and grow and develop within a company or industry. If you follow all the tips at www.thebalance.com and work in a company that promotes employee development, then you will have the chance to go really far in your career. This will help you stay motivated throughout, and will also see you receive many great rewards and benefits.

As you can see, then, there really is more to a career than just the monthly paychecks. Pick the right one, and it will take you far!

Career Evaluation: What Are You Chasing?

Stop for a moment.

Whether you love, hate or just accept your job – what does it represent?

Since work consumes such a large part of our lives it should serve a purpose.

Finding the perfect job isn’t going to make you “happy” for long. That’s not saying you can’t stay in one profession for a while and enjoy it, but chances are on bad days your mind wanders to other options.

A career is never meant to define you.

When casually asked, “what do you do?” it results in three reactions: proud, ashamed or blah.

The better question to ask yourself is: what are you chasing?

For me it’s lifestyle. As a father and entrepreneur I want my work to provide the opportunity to control how I spend my time. Sure, I’d like to make more money (who doesn’t), but if the tradeoff is I’m rich, but can never see my family it’s not worth it.

Consider your life stage. Don’t default simply to age.

There are people in their 20’s married with kids and others in their 40’s single.

Values don’t change much over time, but priorities do. Added responsibility like being a parent will do that to you.

Feeling stressed isn’t fun, but tension also promotes growth. Changes whether expected or unexpected will challenge you. Take time to relax, but too much of it can hurt you.

When it comes to evaluating where you are in your career, remember to stop comparing yourself to others and look at it in “chunks.” Each experience prepares you for the next so no matter where you are take what you learned in the past and utilize it to propel you into the future.

Chasing is healthy in moderation.

Ambition leads to drive and motivation.

But what’s most important is to define your career path based on your standards alone.

Those who are focused are trying to win the race, not consumed with beating others.

Millennials Are Investing Physically

According to this article, Millennials are spending an insane amount to stay in shape.

Traditional gyms and fitness centers aren’t up in membership; instead there is a demand for more community-based, functional and wellness centered classes.

The definition of staying is shape has changed too. Reducing stress, being more productive at work and mental health are the main benefits.

Speciality classes are more expensive than working out by yourself at the gym, but it’s also more engaging, fun and keeps you accountable for progress.

There’s always been a huge push for professional development in your career, but investing in your body may outweigh anything you can learn from a book/online.

Take for instance young moms. Their ability to bounce back to pre-pregnancy form is exceptional. Groups like Stroller Strides, SoulCycle and CrossFit become even more attractive for lifestyle goals.

With more information comes better efficiency. Millennials are realizing taking care of your body early is the best prevention from illness/injury. Being proactive is a mindset that prepares you best for the future and Millennials are embracing it.

Like anything else trends come and go, so this fitness craze can change over time, but for now businesses should be aware of it and adapt to health, wellness and athleisure as a way of life.

Thinking Outside Of The Box To Propel Your Career Forward

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If you want to take another step up the career ladder, then you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can in your current role to propel your career forward. One effective way to do this is by thinking outside of the box. You know what they say: life starts outside of your comfort zone. Here’s how you can begin thinking outside of the box to improve your career almost right away:

Start Making Little Changes To Your Routine

Every time you do something, whatever it may be, your brain is strengthening pathways to help you perform that task more effectively. This works for both negative and positive actions. So, if you procrastinate most days, you’re only going to feel inclined to do it more and the habit will be tough to break. Similarly, if you talk to the same people and do the very same things, you’re going to have the same thoughts. Thinking different thoughts is the key to bringing new and creative ideas to the table. It really can make a difference. These small changes could make big things happen.

Good Media Only

There’s all kinds of media out there, and for some reason, people choose to only absorb the negative stuff. Stop watching rubbish TV. You don’t even have to read a book on business, if you don’t want to. Choose a great story and relax by reading that instead. Maybe listen to a different genre of music to see how that resonates with you. Stimulating materials will help you to become more creative.

Make Sure You Have Time To Think

Being productive doesn’t mean moving or doing something all the time. You can be productive just by thinking productive thoughts. If you take time to yourself, to think in a situation where you don’t feel pressured, or even to meditate, you may find that you come up with effective solutions for things. You may come up with a lower friction solution for misaligned rotation that you’ve been looking for for weeks, or another great idea that you know will stand you in good stead with your boss. However, to do this you can’t be ‘busy’ all the time.

Focus – No Multitasking

Ban multitasking from your vocabulary. It can actually slow you down, rather than make you more productive, like many people think. Focus on one task without distractions – that means putting your phone in another room, and even stopping your email notifications.

Connect With Your Boss

If you can build a rapport with your boss, do it. Don’t be ‘bosses pet’ as this isn’t a good idea if you want to continue a relationship with fellow employees either. Simply develop a positive relationship, and you’ll feel more confident to present your unique ideas.

Using these ideas to make changes to your day to day life will definitely help you to switch things up and take your career further. Do you have any suggestions you think will help readers? Leave your own thoughts below!

3 Requests From Millennials To Managers

Millennials get a bad rap.

Sure, some of the stereotypes are true, but what about taking an empathetic viewpoint?

Technology has changed the game forever, therefore management needs to step up accordingly.

Here are 3 ways managers can maximize Millennials:

1. Show me, don’t tell me

Coaching works. Micromanaging doesn’t.

According to research, auditory learning is the least effective yet traditional education teaches us otherwise.

Modeling correct behavior is more efficient than any handbook, Powerpoint presentation or lecture can ever be.

Millennials need mentors, not bosses. The difference between a leader and a manager is how they deal with people. The one size fits all approach is dead.

Managers need to approach supervision like a tutor. How to show the content is more important than knowing it. Customizing a message to fit the receiver is more work, but it also gets better results.

2. Learning is more valuable than perks

Free food, remote work and ping-pong tables are nice amenities, but they don’t increase retention.

Millennials care more about developing their careers by learning new skills than being enticed by external rewards. In fact, companies who base their culture around perks are promoting fool’s gold.

If you want to retain your best young talent, you need to invest in them. Similar to teenagers, if you want to teach independence you have to give them responsibility then respond accordingly.

The reason semi-annual and annual reviews don’t work is there’s too much time in-between feedback. Daily to weekly feedback may sound overwhelming as manager, but without it you risk quality control.

Leadership is about making those around you better, not priding yourself on being the best. Look no further than team sports to know your value increases as your team wins.

3. Listen, before judging

Entitled. Lazy. Narcissistic. Millennials have heard it all.

Before you judge a book by it’s cover, open it.

As a manager if you don’t get to know your workers, you default to believing stereotypes. That’s called ignorance.

Millennials may struggle with interpersonal skills, but peel back the skin and you’ll get down to the root of the issue.

People are people. Sometimes we over-trivialize that. The most effective thing any manager can do is listen.

If you don’t know the story, you’ll never be able to positively impact it.

In the end it’s the connection between the manager and Millennial that determines results.

People don’t leave companies they leave managers.

Sincerely,

Millennials