Whether you are just starting out in a new position, or you have been in your role for a while and are beginning to feel that it’s time you receive a promotion, you are going to want to take active steps to ensure that your employer sees your potential. This tends to be easier said than done, especially if you are working within a particularly large organization. Chances are that your employer has a whole host of tasks to focus on and you’re going to have to do a lot to stand out from the crowd. But it is possible and you could greatly benefit from recognition and acknowledgment of your achievements. Here are a few steps that you can do to help your employer to see your potential!

Request Progress Meetings

Most companies will offer progression meetings through your probation period. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure that you are settling into your role properly, that you correctly understand what is expected of you, and that you are keeping up with your workload. If you haven’t received these, now is a better time than ever to request them. They help you to keep a track of how things are going and ensure that you and your employer are on the same page. If you have finished your probation period, you may want to continue these meetings on a more informal basis. Put in a request with your employer—they may be able to accommodate this.

Understand OKRs

OKR stands for “objectives and key results.” When you begin any project, your employer should set out OKRs. These will help you to understand what you should be aiming to do within your position and with your work, as well as what results are expected to exemplify that you have reached the objectives that have been set out. When you are provided with OKR objectives and key results, you should do your utmost to meet them. Most companies will have specialist software that allows you, your manager, and your employer to track your progress. This ensures that your hard work will be acknowledged and recognized, as it will be laid out for everyone to see.

Undertake Extra Training

Training in areas pertaining to your role shows dedication and commitment to your position. Short courses, or even extensive courses, can also provide you with knowledge, skills, and an in-depth understanding of your field that can greatly benefit the business that you’re working for. A qualification on your resume can also officially qualify you for positions higher up in the chain of the corporation you may be working for. So, why not engage in a little education or pursue higher education associated with your role? Sure, this will be intense. Especially if you are currently working full time. But it’s a pretty effective means of climbing the career ladder.

Dedicate Yourself to Presentations

If you have to give a presentation, don’t engage with it in a half-hearted manner. Very few of us actively enjoy giving presentations. But it’s a great opportunity to showcase your talent, project yourself as a confident and competent individual, and carve a space for yourself in your employer’s memory. So, go all out and really make an effort. This is a great opportunity!

Steer Clear of Office Politics and Gossip

Office culture generates tensions, friction, rivalries, and gossip. But avoid this at all costs. While you may spend a lot of time with the people you work with, you should remain professional at all times. Getting involved in arguments, pettiness, or becoming problematic in the workplace can lower your employers’ opinion of you. Just remember that serious problems do not fall within this category – if you have experienced harm at another’s hands or if you feel that someone is treating you in an inappropriate manner, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact HR.

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Request a Promotion

As the old saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get! So, if you feel that you are capable of taking on a promotion and that you deserve a promotion, you can simply ask for one. There is, of course, etiquette surrounding this type of interaction. You can find out more about this here!
It can be extremely frustrating to work hard and feel that your potential is going unrecognized. But you do have to play an active role in making yourself noticeable to your employer. Hopefully, the above advice and information will help you to stand out to your employer!

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Helping Your Employer to See Your Potential #career #careeradvice

Could You Work in a Customer Facing Role? #career #careeradvice

Are you fresh out of college? Or have you been working in your current career for more than a decade? It’s never the wrong time to reconsider your work life options. You might feel stuck in a rut, your job might not be satisfying you, or you might not know where to go to apply for your first entry-level position. Many roles nowadays have an element of customer service. This can range from the telephone receptionist in a law firm to a social media manager who is conversing with clients over online platforms for eight hours a day. Customer facing doesn’t necessarily mean seeing another human physically. It could simply mean having contact with people through a variety of means. Being a customer facing does require specific attributes. Have you got what it takes?

Patience

Often being in a customer facing role means being the first point of contact for those people who are eager to make a complaint. It could be as simple as not having had their item arrive on time or more serious issues of misconduct and negligence. You need to be able to maintain a calm facade no matter what thoughts are racing through your head. Try to empathize with the customer and put yourself in their shoes. Imagine ordering a present for a significant birthday with plenty of time to spare only for it not to turn up. Be patient and allow the customer to rant if they have to. When there is a gap, interject and sympathize. Make it clear that you will take their complaint seriously. Detail how you will escalate the complaint and make sure you keep them informed of any progress and developments.

Sales

Customer facing roles often mean being motivated by sales and money making initiatives. If someone telephones your company enquiring about an offer they have seen on a social media platform, it might be up to you to secure the sale. If you streamline your sales process and ensure that every member of the company follows the same approach, the brand can gain a reputation for exceptional customer care rather than pushy sales tactics. Cold calling is no longer thought of as a suitable approach to earning revenue. However enticing customers to be more active in the sales process to make the first move has proven profitable.

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Communication Skills

Sometimes you will be talking to people over the telephone, at other times you might be emailing to respond to an inquiry, and at other points, you might be responding to a Twitter post or Instagram comment. Adapting your tone and voice for each method of communicationand for each customer type is a skill. Get this right, and you could find yourself with an exceptional reputation for customer service, find yourself with positive reviews online and with more traffic to your company’s website to convert to sales.
Customer facing roles are no longer lesser qualified jobs. They encompass every tier of a firm and every sector of the industry. If you have what it takes, consider applying your skills to a customer facing role.

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Is an Online Business Management Degree Worth It? - #career #careeradvice #businessdegree

If you are looking for an online degree program, you will quickly learn that one of the most popular online degree majors is Business Management. While you have plenty of choices for your major, this one is sure to stand out to because it sounds versatile, like you could use it for pretty much anything. After all, everything is “business” in some way, right? And “management” shows leadership!

However, an online degree in business management is not for everyone. I graduated from a regionally accredited online degree program 15 years ago. Online education has changed drastically in that time. You have far more choices now than I did then. Before you decide to check for BA business management course programs, answer these questions:

What Will I Do Once I Have My Degree?

If you answered the question with, “I will apply for a promotion at my current job,” and a degree is a requirement for your promotion, go for the business management degree. It may be the quickest way to your promotion, and if you already have specific industry knowledge that you are using to build a career, the business management degree can support your career trajectory.

If you answered the question with something like, “I will start my own business,” or “I will invent something that will change the world, then go on Shark Tank and make a fortune,” then you might consider a degree that is less theoretical and more practical. Entrepreneurship is often a degree track in traditional business degrees, so look around for a degree that supports this passion.

The same is true of most career-specific goals; unless your goal is to be middle management or to enhance your prospects in an industry where you’re already an expert, a more specific degree may make more sense for you.

Will a Business Management Degree Help me Start my Career?

Employers complain that business majors have theoretical knowledge, but not practical application that they can use immediately. The market is flooded with business majors–1 in 5 of all undergraduate degrees are awarded in business. To have the best chance of finding a job after college, you will need to stand out from the crowd.

You are better off selecting a major that is specific to something. If you like money, try majoring in accounting–even Kanye needs an accountant, and if you hate it, you can use your mad money skills to consult or move to a business-related industry.

If you love art, but your parents say you should “major in something practical,” look at graphic art, motion graphics, and other art degrees where the end goal is employment with a high-end corporation and not just to create art for art’s sake.

The point is, passion will get you further than a general degree. If you are passionate about a subject, you will find ways to make money with it.

What is Your Endgame?

If you look at this question and answer it with, “I don’t know, I just want a degree.” Then sure, go for the business management degree because it will fulfill this goal and give you a very general degree you can use as a stepping stone to a more specific graduate degree later, when you have more clarity about what you want to do in life.

But if you do choose that path, intern throughout your degree experience. Your degree alone will not get you a job–you need practical experience that you can bring to the table immediately. The vast majority of employers do not want to train you, so be smart and gain experience while you’re working on your degree.

What I did with My Business Management Degree

The day that my business management undergraduate degree conferred to my transcripts, I enrolled in a Master of Arts in English program. In the year it took me to finish out my major credits, I had figured out that I wanted to teach, so the natural next step was to find a subject-specific graduate degree.

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Was my BS in Business Management worth it? No, not really. I’ve since worked as a manager in a big corporation and started my own business–both places where you’d think a business management degree would be useful, but it isn’t. My practical business knowledge was gained from growing up with grandfather’s construction business.

So, for me, a business management degree was a means to an end. I have three master’s degrees (English, Creative Writing, and Instructional Design), all of which serve me more. But, my story isn’t your story. Make the right choice for your goals!

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Sitting in an office all day long just isn’t suited to some people. It can get boring very quickly and there are some health problems involved with sitting down for long periods of time. If you’re working in an office and you’ve got itchy feet, there are plenty of other things that you can do instead. These are some of the best careers that allow you to get out of the office and into the great outdoors.

Environmentalist

Caring for the planet is more important than ever and if you want to be at the forefront of that effort, you should consider becoming an environmentalist. It’ll be your job to head out to different sites and do tests to see whether the environment is being damaged in any way and come up with solutions to combat that. Like any other career in science, you’ll need to get a degree before you can start applying for positions but once you’re qualified, there are a lot of options. You could work for a non-profit organization that aims to protect local environments but there are also lots of government bodies that do similar work.

Surveyors

Surveyors are a very important part of the building process. It’s their job to ensure that the land that is going to built on is suitable and there aren’t any environmental issues that need to be dealt with. Surveys also need to be carried out during the construction process to make sure that everything is safe and up to code. You’ll still be working in an office sometimes but most of your time will be spent visiting all sorts of different sites so it’s ideal for somebody that likes to move around a lot instead of being stuck inside all day. If you’re going to land surveyor job roles, you’ll need to get a degree first. There are some great courses that offer a mixture of traditional learning and on the job experience which will help you when you’re trying to apply for jobs.

Farming

Farming isn’t a job that most people consider because it’s usually considered a family trade that is passed down through the generations. But there’s no reason that you can’t be a farmer yourself if you want to. All of your days will be spent outside tending to crops or livestock and you won’t have to set foot in an office ever again. However, farming is a very difficult business to find success in and you’ll have to invest a lot of money in it, so think carefully about it and do your research before you make any decisions.

Park Ranger

Green, open spaces are becoming few and far between but there are still some amazing parks out there. If you love spending time in the great outdoors, why not look for a job as a park ranger? You can spend your work days patrolling some of the most beautiful places in the world and making sure that they’re being looked after properly.   

If you don’t want to be stuck in an office all day long, there are plenty of alternative careers that you can try.

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4 Outdoor Careers for if You Don't Want to be Stuck in an Office - #outdoors #career #careeradvice

Now you have completed all of your education in your chosen field, you are now ready for the next steps into life! But, for some people, this is easier said than done, and it is not always such a straight line to get from the completion of education to the job of your dreams. As such, we have written this article to give you some advice on some of the next things that you should be doing now that you have finished studying and you are ready for new things. So, if you are interested in finding out some of the next steps that you could be taking, read on.

Get Settled Somewhere

One of the very first things that you should do after you have finished your education is get settled somewhere. It doesn’t matter if this is the same place you have been for the past couple of years or if this is going to be somewhere new, but you don’t want to have a job until you know that you are happy where you are. As such, you should be ensuring that you have taken the time to get settled before you start building your career.

This might sound a little strange, and you might think that you just want to live wherever there is a job for you, and if this is the case, that’s fine. But, it is also important that you are happy and comfortable where you are.

Think Carefully about the Future

When you think of five years down the line, what it is that you see? Do you see yourself working full time somewhere, having little time for your friends and family? Or perhaps you see something different. Either way, it is important to manage your expectations, and if you check out somewhere like the locumguy website you will find some pretty handy information about different expectations from careers.

Having a plan is good, as long as you recognize that this should be flexible. You want to have an idea of where you are going, but you need to be able to bend this to what reality throws at you. Don’t be so set in your ways that you miss out on fantastic opportunities when they come around.

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Find a Job

Once you have settled somewhere and managed your expectations for the future, this is when you should find a job. Finding a job is important, but only after you are in the right place to do so. Look around for the kind of job that you want and make sure that you keep in mind the kind of goals you are hoping to achieve here when you are sending in your applications. Also, try to aim a little above where you think you are as well as at the same level. This way, you might end up with a higher position than you ever thought possible for a starting place.

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Making the most of every single day at work can be a hard task. When we work in a fast paced office environment it is always important for us to take the time out to arrange our day and also to name sure we can fit everything into our schedule. Today we are going to take a look at some of the changes you can make which will allow you to make the most of every minute of your day.

Get up early

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to make your day count is to get up bright and early and start off your day in a relaxed way. When we wait until the last moment to wake up and get ready for work it can make us grumpy and we don’t truly allow ourselves to wake up until a few hours into our shift. If you can pull yourself out of bed even half an hour earlier than usual this can make all the difference to your mind and your body, and it will allow you to be ready for action when you get into the office.

Big then small

The hardest thing about trying to make the most of your days is working out which jobs are the most important ones to do. When we have several different tasks to do every day it is important for us to prioritize the big tasks over the small ones. Take a look at what you have to do and think about who needs you to complete the task and how urgent it is. This will allow you to arrange your tasks in order of importance.

Write a list

The most important thing you need to have if you are trying to be more organized at work is a work schedule. Make sure that at the end of each day you take 10 minutes to write out what you need to do for the next day. Doing this will save you time figuring out where to start each morning and it will allow you to make sure you never miss out something important on your to do list. Keep your list somewhere prominent on your desk or even hang a small whiteboard up and write your tasks down on there.

Say no to meetings

Meetings can either be the best use of your time or the absolute worst. It is crucial for you to know as a worker that you are entitled to say no to meetings if you have more important things to do with your time. If you feel that you could better spend your time on a task, learn to reject a meeting request and get on with your day. Meetings can pull us out of our rhythm for the day and it is often hard for us to get it back once it’s gone.

Zone out

Sometimes the best thing you can do during a busy workday is to put in your headphones, listen to some great music and zone out for a while. When you have people talking to you throughout the day it can be a nice way to pass some time but when you need to concentrate it is important for you to zone out completely and get it done. Once you do this you will likely get the task done twice as fast and be able to join back in the conversation in no time.

Have regular breaks

If you don’t want to completely burn out and crash this year the best thing you can do for yourself is take a break every hour or so and walk around for a couple of minutes. Of course, if you are in the middle of a job you don’t need to stop and stand up, but otherwise this is good for your mind and body. When we stand up and take a break we can release tension in our muscles and release any stress in our minds too. It is always good for us to do this now and again and it allows us to refresh and be more productive as a result.

Work in small shifts

Another great way to make sure we don’t burn out when we are trying to work hard is to work in small intervals and make sure that we can keep up a good momentum with working. If we work in small slots and move onto something else for a while it can stop us from getting bored and being unable to continue.

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Make the Most of your WorkDay - #productive #career #careeradvice

Many people these days struggle when it comes to their career path. There are too many people these days working jobs they don’t really enjoy or want to do. It’s high time that you focus on making sure you get the most out of your job. You have plenty of things to consider when it comes to improving the way you do your job, and this is something to keep in mind.

Enjoying what you do is not the be all and end all, but it is certainly important. There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind that can impact the way you enjoy your job. You have to make sure you are getting the most out of it, and that you are happy in the job you are doing. This is why you should consider the tips here, and use them to ensure you are more fulfilled at work.

Adjust Expectations

It is important to adjust your expectations of your job role every now and then. It can be easy to get carried away with the sorts of things you want to get out of the process, but this is something that plays a hugely important part in the process of job fulfillment. You are going to need to look at what you want to achieve from your career, and it might even be an idea to consider changing jobs. This is something you have to get right as much as possible, and this can help you achieve more.

Make Sure You are Looked After

Making sure you are looked after is so important if you want to make the most of your career path. This means finding a business that values you as an employee and takes care of you in the right way. But, you also want to take steps to look after yourself in the event that you might be off work through illness or injury. This is why looking into workers compensation is so important, and there is a lot that you can keep in mind. This will give you much better peace of mind and will allow you to focus on enjoying your job rather than worrying about it.

Talk to Your Boss

The best thing you can do when you want to start enjoying your job more is to speak with your boss. This is something that you need to make sure you start doing as soon as possible. There are a lot of benefits to this, and it is important that you speak with your boss about any problems or issues you might have with regards to your job. This is something that needs to be sorted out moving forward, and it is something that you have got to keep in mind. Airing your worries or issues can have a majorly positive impact on your job role, and your enjoyment of the workplace.

As you can see, there is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to enjoying your job and finding it more fulfilling. There are so many things that can play a part in the process of improving and enhancing the working experience, and getting the right career path out of this is so important. Assess how much you are enjoying your job and try to make some changes where possible.

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Get the Most Out of Your Job - #careeradvice #itsallaboutyou #career #job

When it comes to growing a new business, the options can feel overwhelming. New businesses often struggle to find steady cash flow, so you must spend wisely. Knowing where to focus your efforts is the key to smart expansion.

Over the past 16 months, Jarell and I have experimented with many ways to grow our business. We spent money on classes, software, seminars, memberships—you name it. What we’ve found is that when it comes to growth in the early days of starting a business, your efforts must be laser-focused on what will not only grow your business, but grow it in the right direction. 

Define Your Business’ Purpose before You Grow

So, what is the “right direction” to grow your business? Your business should have clear goals and a clear purpose. If your business’ goal is simply “to make as much money possible,” you are going to struggle. Narrow down your playing field to a specific sector. 

If you are going to run an online retail business, you will do better if you specialize in a certain genre of products than if you sell anything and everything. In a service business, you will do better if you offer a specific genre of services. Remember at the beginning of Hello Dolly! when Dolly tells the whole town she can solve any problem, “Just leave everything to me?” Here’s the soundtrack for reference:

 

Well, that “I do it all” idea may have worked in 1900, but in 2019, it just makes you look like a mess. 

In our business, Jarell and I offer very specific services: We build online learning materials. Everything we do in our business supports that goal. This blog is even used in one of our online college courses (Hello to Mr. Beers’ students!).

With that in mind, we can focus our business growth on supporting that business goal. Once you have defined your business goal, here are a few areas where you can focus your energy on growing your business:

Invest in Your Own Learning

While my graduate degrees are focused on education (MS Instructional Design, MA English, MFA Creative Writing), my undergraduate degree is in business management. On the surface, you would think that would have prepared me well to be an entrepreneur in the education field. I assure you, it did not.

We had–and still have–a lot to learn. It’s humbling just how much we have had to learn in this first year of business. From updates to tax laws to even how to figuring out how to start an online K-12 private school, we learn every single day. 

If you are looking to grow your business, start by growing your own knowledge. Learn everything you can. Take a (reputable) online course about human resources. Go to a conference for people in your field and network with presenters. Sign up for a community college course in accounting. Get a new certification. 

Whether you are learning about launching a successful microgreens business from Microgreens Farmer, or you are simply attending a local WordPress users meeting (they are in every major town, BTW—we attended one last year in Orlando), there is plenty to learn. If you don’t know where to start, go on Meetup.com and see what like-minded people in your area are doing to expand their businesses. In Orlando, there’s even a group for introverted entrepreneurs!

Hire the Right People

Jarell and I have been working to build and grow our team for years—long before we took the leap to start our own business. We’ve invested a great deal of time and resources into turning talented interns into exceptional employees. Our hiring pool for any given project is comprised of people we have known a very long time. 

But, if you aren’t as lucky as we are to have a wide hiring pool, you can still hire the right staff for your business. If you don’t have a great deal of money, start by hiring freelancers that you can try on for size without make a huge hiring commitment. You can also run an advertisement for an intern at internships.com.Interns work for free or for cheap just to gain experience, so make sure you have plenty of tasks that will help them gain experience.

Knowing the right people to hire takes time and savvy. The best advice I can give you is always follow your gut instinct. If the person with the prettiest resume and best credentials is a total jerk when you interview, don’t be afraid to hire someone whose credentials are a little less but makes you feel at ease. You can always fill in knowledge gaps, but you can’t change a person’s personality.

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To grow, you must refine the way you market your business. You may have started your business with word-of-mouth referrals, but eventually, you will need to invest in promoting your business. Small expenses like business cards are no-brainers, but in a world where most people search for services online, you have to position yourself so that your intended audience can find you easily and at the right time.

With marketing, start with the free stuff, like creating social media pages. Google picks up Facebook pages, so at the very least, start there by posting important information like your hours, contact info, and services offered. Of course, you should have a website. Most bloggers recommend BlueHost because they have huge referral bonuses. We, however, like InMotionHosting because they have stellar customer support, excellent up time, and amazingly simple tools.

Once you are ready to invest in promotional advertising, try Facebook where you can strategically target specific demographics, or Google Adwords, where you can set very specific spending limits. 

Walk before You Run

One of the biggest mistakes new businesses make is trying to grow too fast. You want your company to grow and thrive organically. However, it takes time to build a business. It takes time to learn how to run your business effectively and how to give your customers precisely what they want. Money trickles in slowly at first—don’t spend until you have a good, solid safety net in the bank.

As far as our business, what I wish I had known in 2017 when we made the jump to strike out on our own, is this: You are going to work far more than you ever imagined you would. All these “internet millionaires” who are telling you that you can run a business in four hours per week are full of you-know-what. We expected a lot of work, but we didn’t expect we’d be working months on end without any sort of time off, or even a moment to go to the grocery store. Running your own business is hard work, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Believe me, it’s worth it.

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